The factory mentality vs. the company mentality

In a factory, division of labour is sacrosanct. Each worker is expected to simply do their task and not get in another’s way.

The word company comes from the same root as companionship. A company originally referred to a group of soldiers who fought side by side.

An organization’s culture can foster the factory mentality or the company mentality.

The factory mentality is to avoid problems. When something goes wrong, the idea is to punish the careless individual who is at fault. The company mentality embraces problems as part of the game and explores how to solve them together. Where the factory mentality is problem obsessed, the company mentality is solution oriented.

Factories shoot down ‘trouble makers’. Companies reward trouble shooters.

Within a factory, you would see individuals protecting their turf. You would hear the phrase ‘it’s not my job’ only too often. In a company, you hear ‘let’s get this done’ instead.

At a factory, you would hear ‘let’s ban this from tomorrow’. At a company, you would hear ‘let’s get to the bottom of this’.

Within a factory, people follow the herd. That way, nobody is to blame. A company dares to think and work differently and define its own mission.

Factories have low trust – between departments, roles and individuals. Within a company, everybody has got their comrade’s back.

A factory has individual workers. A company is one team.

What kind of organization is yours?

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