Hierarchy of Organizational Needs – Continued (2 of 3)

HON Pyramid - Continued

Hierarchy of Organizational Needs Pyramid

HON Pyramid – Continued (2 of 3)

Hierarchy of Organizational Needs Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Level 3 – Relationship Building:

Organizations operating at this level in 2009 have not taken much of a financial hit and are operating reasonably close to normal, even anticipating the possibility of growth for the year.  Since the attention of leaders at this level has not been diverted to all-finance-all-the-time, they are able to focus on a bigger picture and are motivated to build relationships with their customers, suppliers, and partners, and to treat their employees fairly in order not to lose the talent they will need in the future.

Leaders in organizations at this level are taking a reasonably long-term view and are preparing for the future.  Some alternative energy companies fall into this category.  One example is Sunpower.

Organizations at levels 4 and 5 are in good shape financially and are seeing opportunities in the crisis.

Level 4 – Attraction & Reputation:

Level 4 organizations are focusing on innovation and preparing for future growth.  Their leaders understand that the financial crisis will not last forever, and that competition remains keen, even during the downturn.  They are motivated by a desire to keep their employees happy and committed by treating them well and avoiding layoffs, thereby keeping their reputation positive.  They are looking for creative ways to grow and prosper, even in 2009. Examples include Oracle.

Level 5 – Corporate Citizenship & Responsibility:

At Level 5, the motivation shifts.  Leaders of organizations at this level have evolved beyond the traditional healthy-mix focus on markets, strategy, structure, technology, and people.   They are including the environment, both local and global, in the mix and prioritizing issues like community partnerships, lowering their carbon footprint, and being socially responsible in their policies and activities.

Internally, cash-rich companies like Cisco and Google are giving employees the opportunity to innovate within through a flat management structure and employee inclusion policies.  These are companies that run little-to-no risk of losing valuable talent to a competitor – in good times or bad.  Another example is Apple, whose leaders are quietly snapping up some of the high-quality employees being dumped by struggling competitors.

So, where is your organization? How are you competing in the present economic climate? Are you adopting any of these ideas?

Hierarchy of Organizational Needs Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Posted on
February 23, 2009 by Contributing Author Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D.

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3 Responses

  1. Sara, you have developed a great framework which is particularly helpful for organizations committed to living their values and not just talking about them.

  2. [...] This blog segment is a continuation of the Hierarchy of Organizational Needs (HON) segments seen here previously. Segment 1 Segment 2 [...]

  3. [...] of Organizational Needs (HON) |  Part1 | Part 2 | Part [...]

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