Understanding the drivers of organisational capacity
RAND Europe and the Saatchi Institute examined organisational capacity assessment and the role of culture and communication in improving performance.
A key finding was that organisations can influence their own cultures, and that communication can allow organisations to effectively harness their cultures to manage change, mitigate risk and enhance performance.
Today's organisations must adapt constantly in order to retain their licence to operate. The ability to transform will determine whether or not organisations — public as much as private — can survive in a climate dominated by financial austerity, technological disruption and political uncertainty. This raises an important question about how public and private sector organisations can develop their capacity to deliver services, products or value, when so much effort has focused on reducing costs rather than improving performance.
RAND Europe, in collaboration with the Saatchi Institute, conducted a study intended to to improve the ability of organisations to measure their capacity and to harness organisational culture to manage change, mitigate risk and enhance performance. Drawing on a literature review and interviews with academic experts and public sector representatives, researchers sought to analyse the dimensions of organisational capacity and to explore how organisational culture (collective beliefs, values, behaviours, attitudes, norms, artefacts and symbols) and communication interact with capacity building.
The main tenet of the report is that better-performing organisations have a range of capacities that contribute to better outcomes: culture and communications, but also leadership, strategy, structure/governance, skills, human capital and accountability.
The research shows that organisations can influence their own cultures, and that communication can allow organisations to effectively harness their cultures to manage change, mitigate risk and enhance performance.
The report also lays the foundations for the development of a diagnostic tool that can support understanding of organisational capacity and help establish a baseline for assessment.