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Of the two companies, one was a traveling agency, and the other was a bakery business all in their initial stages. The bakery was able to benefit from the flywheel mode of operation while the traveling agency, which had huge capital investment, ended up being a victim of the doom loop. The bakery was able to succeed since the owner was ambitious but cautious. He wanted to take his business to higher levels, and he managed this by setting realistic and small goals in the beginning. Though it was not that easy, the workers were able to adapt and learned from mistakes and kept on. The traveling agency ended up in the doom loop since the management failed in their approach to dealing with initial failures (Collins, 2001).
Most companies have been victims of the doom loop menace mainly due to poor management (Murphy, 2012). Undertaking the flywheel policy has in most cases been viewed as unrealistic. This is because the leader has not been able to communicate with few of the special team members and been able to convince them of the reality of the goals that can be achieved by starting small. More so, most of these leaders have not been ready to stand in the way of a misalignment, whereby they are able to bring back on track their team members when they stray away from the key goals. In the event, of a crisis, the management of most companies goes for things that are not helpful with change of strategies being one key response (Murphy, 2012). On top of this, these leaders fail in giving the organization a chance of reviving itself out of the limited resources and time that is available. They will never have the time to settle and learn from their previous mistakes (Collins, 2001).
In most cases, the reason behind such failures may be due to giving workers tasks that do not match their capabilities and likes or even using the wrong means of implementation. Additionally, leaders who find themselves in such situations do not create time to have a talk with selected part of the staff. Doing this is believed to give one an opportunity to get helpful ideas into saving the situation though very few leaders rely on this (Murphy, 2012).
Public safety organizations deal with activities that are not always friendly (Wexler et.al, 2007, June). Those dealing with crime, for example, are dealing with criminals who change tactics day in day out. Such organizations are always forced to come up with new strategies for dealing with these problems from time to time. It is important therefore that the flywheel approach is adopted since such changes are always stagnated by some things including will, especially at the beginning (Wexler et.al, 2007, June).
Collins, J. (2001). Good to great.
Murphy, D. (2012). The doom loop in sovereign exposures. FT Alphaville Blog April, 12.
Wexler, C., Wycoff, M. A., & Fischer, C. (2007, June). ” Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.
Over my fifteen-year career in the military, I have had the privilege to serve in various military organizations. Each organization had been rooted deep in military tradition; some exceeded the standard others didn’t. But the ones that excelled work relentlessly to exceed expectations and continuously worked to improve the organizational performance and efficiency. In my experiences, the transition of an organization from good to great has always started with the introduction of a new leader at the head of the organization.
The Flywheel effect in the Jim Collins book “Good to Great” describes the process companies transition from good to great by building momentum through continuous improvement which results in improved performance. On the other hand, the Doom Loop never allows momentum to build. In fact, Collins (2002) proclaims companies that are captured in the doom loop often are in search of the miracle moment that would allow them to skip the arduous buildup stage and jump right to breakthrough.
Two organizations I were apart of, one that followed the Flywheel principle, and the other that fell into the Doom Loop, were the exact same organization but ten years separated the time I had been a member of the organization. In both situations the major difference was the leader. Abrashoff (2002) states in order to create a superb organization, leaders must understand themselves first. One leader treated every encounter with personnel as if it was the most important thing at that moment, he consistently communicated his vision, and promoted a winning culture coupled with optimism. As a result, we never lost focus of the big picture. The leader that allowed the organization to fall into the doom loop was very transactional, seemed disinterested in personnel and often deferred those responsibilities to his senior enlisted advisor. Most importantly, he never focused on the company and allowed pressure from higher headquarters determine the path the Company was headed which forced dramatic changes in personnel, company procedures, to include how we trained and when we trained. His refusal to stand-up for the company resulted in us being pulled in many directions, misinformed of priorities, lost, and confused. As a result, his actions created frustration and resentment within the company.
Collins (2001) claims the good-to-great companies had no name for their transformations. No launch, event, no tag line, but I would argue the members could identify the time period in which the changes began to occur. The same can be said about the doom loop model. It is important for public safety organizations such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to maintain momentum and be a results-oriented organization because when the time comes for them to produce, it could result in saving life, preventing death or stopping millions of dollars in damages to infrastructure. Since 1979, FEMA has served as the nation’s lead agency dedicated to mitigate, prevent and respond to man-made and natural disasters. FEMA and state level emergency management agencies are consistently evaluating themselves, incorporating fusion centers to synchronize resources to maintain efficacy. Using the all-hazards approach, FEMA is able to sustain a high level of readiness to protect the nation, its people and critical infrastructure.