Organizational Analysis

Beyond the Looking Glass

From childhood, it seems, we learn to appreciate that among all the various ways of maintaining good health, one practice stands out: the regular checkup.

It’s easy to see why. A checkup provides an objective rundown of your present condition. It can identify a potentially serious problem long before you’re conscious of it. Often, it spots trends that tell you it’s time to shed a few pounds, set aside the salt shaker or pull out the jogging togs. At the very least, it can confirm what most people wish to be true – they’re just fine, thank you.

Checkups are common in the business world, too, where quarterly and annual reports and financial audits are a way of life. And in the classroom, report cards give students (and their parents) a regular progress update.

Despite these practical benefits to individuals and organization alike, this idea of periodic assessment, of taking a hard look in the mirror, is neither widely nor regularly practiced within the nation’s cultural community. We think it should be. In this paper we make a case for the “checkup” or, as we formally refer to it, the organizational analysis. Why?