'Successful institutions of the future must be as responsive and fluid as the world around them.'
Organizations are not static entities. They exist only so long as they fulfil a useful purpose. They and their environment are in a constant state of change and, to adopt a biological analogy, all institutions have a life cycle.
The organizational life or developmental cycle has four main stages. These are formation, growth, maturity, and lastly a stage that can lead either to decline and decay or to renewal and revitalization. The developmental cycle is the same for educational institutions as for any other organization, especially now that education operates in a more deregulated and market environment. Each stage in the life cycle has its own special challenges, and a failure to meet them can lead to disaster. At each stage an institution must change, adapt and develop. TQM, with its powerful ingredients of long-term strategic planning and the involvement of staff in continuous improvement, provides the means of facing up to the challenges at each stage.
The first stage in the cycle is the birth and formation of the institution. A newly established institution requires a strategy to gain recognition and acceptance. It must establish its niche in the market and find a clientele. The new organization must build a client base and ensure that it is aware of and is in tune with consumer needs, even if it has created those needs in the first place. The foundation of a new organization is sometimes described as the entrepreneurial phase because the founders are often