Salvation Army a top ‘enduring institution’
The Salvation Army, according to American academics, is one of the world’s 10 most enduring institutions—along with Oxford University, the Olympic Games, the Rolling Stones and the American Constitution.
Global strategy and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton asked leading scholars at respected universities across the USA to nominate institutions which have “adapted, endured and prevailed”—standing the test of time and successfully reinventing themselves to meet changing conditions.
The other six institutions which form the top 10 are Dartmouth College, General Electric, Sony, the International Telecommunication Union and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Booz Allen Hamilton wanted to discover why some institutions endure for decades, or even centuries, while others disappear into history.
The company defined an enduring institution as “one that has changed and grown in unswerving pursuit of success and relevance yet remained true throughout time to its founding principles.”
The academics looked at seven aspects of each institution: their innovative capabilities, governance and leadership, information flow, culture and values, adaptive response, risk structure and legitimacy (described as “the undisputed, withstanding credibility of an organization within its market”).
The Salvation Army was particularly noted for its success in respect of culture and values. Said Booz Allen Hamilton: ‘The Salvation Army is iconic in its ability to motivate and inspire its workforce. The Salvation Army’s skill is in creating the culture and expressing the values that make its own endurance possible. As an “army” it broadcasts this culture through simple but effective practices, such as the readily recognizable uniform.”