April 24, 2014

How organizations function is a matter of habit.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard by jettwolfgang on deviantart.com

From micro to macro, the ways and means of operating are deeply ingrained.

If you want to get a sense of how an organization operates, all you need to do is attend a few meetings.  If the meeting is initiated with no agenda, or even a list of objectives, and the meeting was called by someone of relatively higher rank than most of the attendees – my bet is that you will find the meeting has been called to discuss slipping schedules, late deliverables, and an inevitable discussion of how to throw more resources at the problem in order to meet monthly or quarterly targets.

In organizations where things are delayed, pushed to the end, and hockey-sticked production is the norm, you will find meandering discussion, and a sudden, sharp realization that time is running running and a quick, frantic blur of activity at the end is the only way to accomplish anything.

It won’t matter if you are observing the conduct of a meeting, production plans, development activities, or strategic plans – the song will remain the same.  With no expectation of upfront effort, evenness of operations, or elimination of undue stress – stress will become the norm at every level.

If you want to change this – start having meaningful discussions.  Eradicate the powerpoint paradigm.  Have discussions.  Observe. Experiment – do anything and everything that makes you feel awkward.

The only way to break a bad habit, is to stop doing it.

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  • http://twitter.com/SquawkPoint James Lawther

    David,

    If you smoke 40 a day, and your boss does, and so does his boss and your co-workers do as well then that is your reality.

    In which case I doubt you will stop the bad habit

    It is only when you are clear it is killing you that you will change.  Maybe the problem is an educational one?

    James