Greek philosophers said that you cannot work with anything unless you name it and define it.

So, what is a Business Organization?  What is the Business Animal?

This is written for practicing CEO’s, MD’s, General Managers and Senior Executives. It is meant for serious students of management who seek to understand the roots of outstanding competitive performance and the leadership required to achieve it. It will be of little use to those who look upon their work simply as a job.

The central message of this report is that the Purpose and Values Statement is a company’s most valuable and important document. It is the key to outstanding performance and to enhancing the lives of those the company serves and those who serve it.

This report is about what it takes to build a business organization which makes such a distinctive impact upon its environment and displays such intrinsic excellence that it would be sorely missed if it ceased to operate.

The original definition of a business was that it was like a business machine,  with inputs and outputs.

BUT this describes a process which is comprised of “inanimate parts”. And a business is not made up of parts but of people. A machine also responds consistently to input and it can be highly sophisticated.

Organizations are changing:

  • The Organization of Yesterday was:

Standardized and functionally based, with position based, top-down power structures, Compliance and information scarcity, Focus was primarily on products.

  • The Organization of Tomorrow is:

Distributed, global, virtual and flexible with leadership directed towards specific outcomes via individually negotiated contributions which are expert-based and rich in information. Focus is on markets and customers


In order not only to understand but to successfully build your business to be the best, you need to understand how systems theory is applicable.

In a nut shell, Systems Theory stresses that everything and everyone is connected.  Nothing can be viewed or dealt with in isolation – no man is an island.


The leader of an organisation must enable individuals to agree and decide on a Common Goal or Purpose with Shared Behaviours or Values to achieve that goal.


In addition to Systems Theory, it is important to understand and employ the philosophy of Holism.

Jan Smuts based his philosophy of Holism on Aristotle who said “The end result can/must be greater than the sum of the parts”.

Unlike a machine, a business organisation has potential to produce a result greater than the sum total of the members of staff.

How is this possible? The answer is TEAMWORK brought about by the establishment of a Common Purpose and Shared Values.

Too often, business origination’s are no more than groups of individuals. The secret is to unite individuals within a business to become a vibrant cohesive team.