Things they didn’t teach in medical school: Part 29 Building Things (incl. organisations)

One of the things that we can do, regardless of our profession, is build stuff and make things better. For me, this is what people in civil societies do – build stuff and make things better. Most of the time we do this as cogs in the machine but many of us have the opportunity to actually do things that make major changes and one of the ways we do this is through building organisations that support our ends.

You may want to start a new organisation right from the beginning or perhaps you need to change, grow and improve an existing organisation. Nobody teaches you how to do this at medical school.

What I’ve learning being involved with a variety of non-government organisations and businesses is to define the purpose of the organisation upfront. This doesn’t mean the purpose can’t change over time when the organisation needs to adapt to circumstances. Clarity of purpose means being clear about what is the product or the organisation. In recent times the digital revolution has seen a number of companies like Kodak essentially disappear. Kodak thought it was in the business of making film and cameras but actually it was a communications business.

By knowing the real purpose and product of a business one can then focus on the means to achieve the ends. This is strategic things that can be applied to many things that aren’t taught in medical school.

And remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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