April 29, 2017

Youthful Organization

Maintaining Youth of the Organization and Preventing Old Age

“Like people and plants, organizations have a life cycle. They have a green and supple youth, a time of flourishing strength, and a gnarled old age. But organizations differ from people and plants in that their cycle isn't even approximately predictable.  An organization may go from youth to old age in two or three decades, or it may last for centuries."  John W. Gardner in 1965 October Issue of  Harper's.

So keeping an  organization youthful is a top management challenge.

Comparing an organization to an animal in biological terms is useful. But as we see now-a-days, the average productive age of humans has increased and some individuals are running marathon at age 71 at almost with the same time that they recorded at the age of 21, organization can maintain their strength and energy for many many years. There are certain organizations who completed 100 years of their existence and still going strong. Of course there are many examples of company closures and mergers who far outnumber the 100 year old organizations. That is why maintaining a youthful organization that can research the market, develop new products, produce them, sell them and service them with the same vigor as it was doing in its earlier years.

Actively hiring young employees periodically is way for maintaining the youthful organization. The company must be ready to train young people for front line operating jobs, supervisory positions and manager level positions.

One example is,  Starbucks  engaging its supply chain in partnership with LeadersUp, a new workforce intermediary, to increase the hiring of  youth. LeadersUp  offers multiple services: identifying barriers to youth employment across the supply chain, designing employer-led interventions (training, on-the-job mentoring, and organization redesign to create career pathways for opportunity youth), and measuring the return on investment of youth hiring activities.

Crises in a Developing Organization
by Gordon L. LippittWarren H. Schmidt
Harvard Business Review, NOVEMBER 1967

Life Cycle Models of the Organization

The Greiner Model - Larry E. Greiner

Cameron and Whetton Model

Ainsworth - Land Model

Noel Tichy's Model

Source: Designing Effective Organizations: Traditional and Transformational Views
David K. Banner, T. Elaine Gagné
SAGE, 1995 - Business & Economics - 480 pages

This book on organization theory adopts a distinctive stance. In contrast to the traditional rational approach, it develops a transformational perspective which focuses on the organizational world as a projection of each organizational member's consciousness. While covering all the basic topics of organization theory, the author's approach reflects today's changing management paradigms.

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles  http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/2016/12/a-to-z-2017-blogging-challenge-top.html

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge


  1. Well said. An organization that refuses to understand the needs of youth in it is doomed to die. Many have. Churches are a good example of that mentality. Find me here. LINK

  2. I work in academia where tenure can lead to an older aged faculty. Girl Who Reads