The main challenges faced by Merck are linkages between the strategy, budget and human resources. Also, it was important to identify weaknesses and drawbacks in current policy. Once the “organizational structure” was set, each component was staffed with persons qualified to perform specified tasks, each task aimed at achieving a predetermined end. Subsequently, all training was directed toward improving the performance of those specified jobs.
Training offsite always had to be justified by its prospect of improving that performance. Effectiveness of training, if evaluated at all, was strictly in terms of its contribution to the dictated result. Furthermore, the principles of directing, controlling, and evaluating presupposed rigid adherence to formal and filed job descriptions and performance standards.
External threats were economic downtown and industry decline. “Charged with supporting various leadership teams in managing work portfolios and addressing than working at cross-purposes”. The traditional idea is that capacity is only the prelude to action, just as preparation is the prerequisite of work. The problem with such thinking is that preparation is, by its nature and without exception, limiting. Strategy never exceeds the prescription. And, when stored capacity is expended, the action ceases — the battery runs down. Actually, stored capacity — if that were indeed possible, is not really capacity.
The moment it is stored it becomes incapacity. Capacity is found only in action. The ultimate purpose of action is not the achievement of a predetermined end but the creation of capacity, of new possibilities unimaginable outside of the action — and that is the only purpose of organization: creative action. It seems quite odd to suggest that there is a secondary benefit to praxis, yet that is precisely the case. There are at least four practical time-present advantages in organization. Taken alone, they have the power to radically transform any existing corporation-model system. Taken together, they are both the origin and the impetus of the constant rejuvenation of any system.
For Merck, control is the primary factor in all systems. In fact, it is arguable that control is implied in the mere idea of a system; that is, control is system and system is control And while the answer may depend on many variables, in any given system, “both” is never the correct answer. Control that restricts or reduces capacity is probably the single greatest perversion of natural law and the most debilitating condition for the person or system. Unfortunately, management, as a science, is the most omnipresent and pervasive of all such controls.
When controls are exercised as the discipline required to generate creativity, there is naturally no limit to a system’s capacity within its kind. Often both idea and action are diluted; sometimes the action is abandoned because the idea is lost or becomes irrelevant. The ideas indigenous to corporated cultures have a very short life span. But in the whole-context organization, because the idea springs from the action, the agents of action are also the discoverers of the ideas and, therefore, are best situated to make immediate decisions or to explore ensuing action.