Friday, 30 May 2014

I reorganize ergo sum

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero:

A reorganization has taken place. A new structure amalgamating old divisions is in place and now the ways of doing must change. The Big Consulting Company has left (well, not quite, they never do) and there is a myriad of PowerPoints and fresh materials articulating the new structure, the new operating model and the new processes and systems in extreme detail.

Senior management cascades this information down through all the layers of the organization (from VPs to directors to managers) in a series of workshops. It’s all very rational, sophisticated and legitimized by the enormous budget used to reach this point.

(1) The ‘small’ detail of how people are actually going to work together in the new not in ‘the slides’
A key component for successful change is that people not only understand the new structure (they are now de facto part of it) or the new processes (they all make sense on paper), but also that they actually behave differently. Suddenly, they have to share information with people who they have not worked with before.

They can no longer draft their business plan in the cosy isolation of their office with the assistants of their three loyal lieutenants. Now, they have to ‘co-develop it’ (sic) with a dozen of interconnected ‘stakeholders’ who didn’t need to know about each other before (or if they did, they pretty much ignored each other without the sky falling down). There is nothing in the colossal stack of PowerPoints left behind by the Big Consulting Company that even touches on explaining, suggesting or helping with how people are going to behave differently. Why? Because the Big Consulting Company operates in world I and in world I, the availability of the information is an end in itself. After all, if new B is better than old A, Homo Sapiens will do B. ‘OK, and if not, we’ll train them.’

(2) So they make an attempt to define which new behaviours are needed
Their management team has become acutely aware of ‘the small detail’ mentioned above and now develops a series of exercises to define the kind of behaviours that may be needed.

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