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The 10 Most Common Organizational Problems: Getting to Their Source
Susan Gross


Most nonprofit organizations come to management consultants with the same basic complaints: too little money, a burned out staff, a board that does nothing, no sense of direction. The first key to solving these organizational problems is diagnosing them correctly. Often these complaints about money, fatigue, board inaction, drift are only superficial symptoms of less obvious maladies.

Too many organizations fall into the trap of treating these symptoms without looking into the deeper, underlying causes. When that happens, the immediate pressures may be alleviated, but the real source of the condition remains. Therefore difficulties will flare up again at different times and perhaps in different forms.

Among the problems brought to management consultants from organizations both small and large. 10 stand out as the ones most frequently heard. The “Top 10” – and the more fundamental bases from which they spring – are the subject of this article.

Please note that our more recent publications have built on this, and other foundational pieces, written in the early days of Management Assistance Group (MAG) (now Change Elemental).