(P3): The Struggle of Two Missions

A path dividing into two with trees on the side of a dirt road

Another way of thinking about the corruption of purpose as complex systems age requires that we think of complex systems as having two core missions:

  1. The Purpose of the System or the Original Mission
  2. Staying Alive!

Over the aging of every complex system, the second mission gradually comes to dominate over the first. This systematic iterative alteration of the organization’s mission parallels both the potential for moral corruption and the corruption of purpose that is the unavoidable result of complex system aging.

This happens to each of us (how much more time do we spend on maintenance and repair of ourselves as we age?), but is most obvious in organizations:

  • Increase in bureaucracy, process requirements,
  • Increase in hierarchy and politics
  • Increase in management costs
  • All resulting in the degradation of actual customer or service support and
  • Eventually, the primacy of money/power over everything else

Author: disabilitynorm

hubby2jill, advocate50+yrs, change strategist, trainer, geezer, Tom and Pepper the wundermutts