Question & Answer: Many organizations belong to "accrediting bodies" or "national organizations" that make sure that…

Many organizations belong to “accrediting bodies” or “national organizations” that make sure that companies meet certain “minimum standards” of that accrediting organization. An example is Brenau University. Brenau belongs to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), or the College of Business and Mass Communication that belongs to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (ASCSB). Another example are hospitals that are accredited by the Joint Commission, or Contractors who are accredited by state licensure bodies.

Many organizations work hard to meet and maintain those standards. But other organizations who meet them, might also rarely go “past” or have “different” standards in fear of becoming “unaccredited” in some way.

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Question & Answer: Many organizations belong to "accrediting bodies" or "national organizations" that make sure that…
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Describe how standards can limit “out of the box” thinking and can prevent organizations (and people within those organizations) from coming up with innovative and creative new methods, products, and services. How then should an organization innovate while at the same time meet an accrediting body’s standards?

Expert Answer

Predefined standards are important for an organization. At the same time, it should be positioned in such a way that it doesn’t become a barrier to challenging older ways of doing things and executing thought process innovatively so that opportunities for automation, simplification etc., are implemented seamlessly. Organizations that possess routine chore nature of job shall constantly follow predefined standard operating procedure without exploring newer things. However, an organization that is engaged in the continuous improvement activities be it manufacturing or service industry, it must ensure out of box thinking is given its due importance.

Organizations who follow predefined standards will suffer from out of box thinking and it certainly acts as a bottleneck in coming up with innovative methods. This is predominantly due to the mindset and culture of the organization set by the founders and the management who runs it. These standards do not allow new experiments and explosion. It works with a mindset of routine tasks. In order to overcome this barrier, organizations that work with standards of the accrediting body, shall follow different organization structure that possesses a matrix structure of both functional and projectized org.

For example in Content industry, daily content deliverables to the search engines like Google, yahoo is the chore task. At the same time, exploring the ways of executing this matters the most. Here for the former, it shall establish a standard practice of operations. For the later, it can have a projectized environment where people are identified with unique skill sets like automation, quality assurance, reporting, technology liaison, vendor management, program management, operational excellence etc., By this way, the organization continues to innovate and at the same time meet the standards of the accrediting body. While the later function focus on experimenting new things, challenging the older ways of doing things etc.,

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