All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare: Jeff Cain writes about the importance of "organizational self-awareness" and why it's such a challenge.
"Organizations, like humans, develop in stages. First they learn to crawl, then walk, then run. At different stages in their development, organizations also have different needs—just as the needs of a toddler differ from those of an adult. Many organizations find it difficult to assess where they are in their institutional lives. This is especially the case for founders and first-generation leaders. Old habits, relationships, and systems—'legacy thinking'—present barriers to understanding changing circumstances and new opportunities. For think tanks, organizational self-awareness is further complicated by the fact that their leaders tend to focus on policy and programming at the expense of development, operations, and finance. After all, no sober person starts a career in public policy in order to spend more time raising money, assessing personnel, or writing budgets. Yet money, people, and finance are the Achilles heels of most think tanks. That is why the ability to self-assess and adapt is essential to building an effective organization—and a hallmark of great leadership. How do effective CEOs and directors gain perspective on their organizations, anticipate change, and plan for growth?" -- Jeff Cain, StatePolicyNetwork.org