Companies can be resembled in many ways with Organized Crowds! Just like crowds, companies have an Objective, Human Resources, Leaders, Material Resources, and a Market in which they do business! Yet, the interesting part is not this side of resemblance, rather than the side that has to do with the Crowd Behavior and Psychology.
Extensive research that studied Crowd Behavior all over the World revealed that Crowds, in one way or another, turn into a unified entity that acts as a single individual. Crowds seem to develop a conscience of their own with a certain level of cognition that they, as an Individual, do exist. From this context onward, Crowds seem to also unify their goals, behaviors, reactions, movements, and interaction with other entities, be it a single person or an Organization.
Further, and even though Crowds tend to enjoy a common conscience, individuals of which Crowds are made of do not seem to submit all their unique characteristics to the Will of their Crowd. As so, it is almost sure that if you take a random sample of individuals from any given Crowd and ask them about the Crowd’s Mission, Objective, Leaders, Market, Challenges, Timelines, member Teams, etc. there will be significant discrepancies in the answers. For, although the Crowd seems to act as One, the individual persons constituting this Crowd demonstrate varying levels of understanding about their Crowd’s raison d’être, a fact that explains why Crowds many times seem to go right and left in their behaviors and interactions.
In the same line, and reflecting on the above, a closer look into Crowds and their behavior uncovers yet another interesting reality. Crowds have vital signs and indicators that can tell us about the health of the Crowd and what problems it is facing or might be running into in the near future. With no extra efforts and some experience, one can easily detect if the Crowd is going off track – objective wise; if there is a kind of unrest leading to potential explosions; if the Crowd is moving towards annihilation; if the Crowd is witnessing a Change of Principles, or if the Crowd is going towards a spilt, etc.
With all the above in mind, I see that Organizations are not very much different from Crowds. Organizations, like Crowds, tend to develop a common conscience that drives its behavior. Employees who work for a specific company can get so much affected by this feel of common conscience that they start thinking the same, behaving the same, and amazingly react the same to similar situations. In many cases and with a strictly implemented dress code and profoundly developed sense of belonging, employees of the same company can even start looking the same up to and inclusive of being tagged with the name of their company!
On another scale, the resemblance between Crowds and Businesses gets even more interesting when it comes to how much employees actually understand or know the various facets of their company. Just like Crowds, if you take a sample of employees from any company and ask them about the company’s Vision, Mission, Objectives, Leaders, Market Strategy and Challenges, you would probably get a wide array of answers that most probably do not look the same. Too often, one can see employees – at all organizational levels – act in ways that contradict the set goals of their Business; they mistreat each other, build non-communicating silos, scare customers away, and project a negative image about their institution; this is in very much resemblance with mob Crowds that lose sense of direction and turn into rioting gangs destroying everything in their way.
Still, like Crowds, when one looks closely at Organizations’ vital signs, it is easy to detect that the organization is off track with respect to its objectives, or it is facing significant challenges in retaining market share, attracting talent, decreasing costs, or beating the competition. All you have to do is read some KPIs and there you are.
What is the theme of the entire story above?
Very simple; if Companies do not assign appropriate efforts to build a common conscience and a strong sense of belonging, and if they do not make sure that their Visions, Missions, Objectives are crystal clear to all their people, and if they do not ensure the institutionalization and prompt implementation of their market strategies, and that all their employees are held accountable towards their responsibilities, then all what they will come down to is to become a self-destructive mob Crowd that has lost all sense of meaning and direction.