Of course, if I was unemployed, or actively looking for a new job, I would have replied differently to the solicitation. Wouldn’t you have?
Assume that, in order to prevent chaos from reigning in your organizational processes, you design and place into operation a change management system.
In order for your system to be effective, the turnaround time (i.e. latency), from request to disposition better be low enough so that people will be motivated to participate in the system.
If, over time, you keep adding more and more evaluation rules to your system and imposing more and more pre-conditions (e.g. requiring a formal ROI analysis paper) on your proposers, your system’s latency will keep rising and its effectiveness at managing change (accepting the good and rejecting the bad) will keep decreasing. People will conclude that it’s just not worth their time to traverse your bureaucratic gauntlet. In the extreme case, your system will automagically morph from a change management system into a change prevention system – and you may not even know that it has happened.
In the pic below, I prefer taking the low road over the high road.
So, now that you and your accomplices have labored long and hard to transform your standard org into a high performing org, you’re happy as a clam. Whoo Hoo!
But wait! What happens when you inevitably team up to do business with a standard org? D’oh! I hate when that happens.
It seems that several coaches/gurus/consultants/experts use the term “the team” frequently in discussing their work. AS IF there was one, and only one, team: “let the team decide“, “meet the team’s needs“, etc. In complex orgs, there is NOT solely one team. There are many diverse teams and team types. Thus, as expected, their needs can, and do, clash.
To simplify the ensuing, one-way, BD00-to-you discussion, assume the existence of only three different team types:
Just like an individual must sometimes relinquish/suppress a personal need(s) for the greater good of the team, a particular team type must sometimes eschew one or more of its needs for the greater good of a different team type. In darker times, sometimes ALL teams must sacrifice some of their needs for the greater good of the “whole“. After all, if the “whole” goes bust, then all the teams being sustained by it go bust too. In a robust org, the converse is not true: if one team fails, the org will live on.
Is it possible to simultaneously satisfy every single need of each individual, each team, each team type, and the meta-physical “whole“? Since some idealistic people seem to think so, I suppose so – but I’m highly skeptical. The universe has always been, and always will be, gloriously messy. Because of the unavoidable human diversity residing within and across team types, a delicate give-and-take balancing act is necessary to keep the whole intact. Sometimes I gotta give to you and sometimes I gotta take from you. Sometimes you gotta give to me and sometimes you gotta take from me.
In “The Politics Of Projects“, Robert Block rightly states: “People want products, not projects“. The ideal project takes zero time, no labor, and no financial investment. The holy grail is to transition from abstract desire to concrete outcome in no time flat :). Nevertheless, for any non-trivial product development effort requiring a diverse team of people to get the job done, some sort of project (or, “coordinated effort” for you #noprojects advocates) is indeed required. Whether self-organized or dictator-directed, there has to be some way of steering, focusing the effort of a team of smart people to achieve the outcomes that a project is expected to produce.
At the simplistic BD00 level of comprehension, a project is one of two binary types: a potential revenue generator or a potential cost reducer.
Startups concentrate solely on projects that raise revenue. At this stage of the game, not a second thought is given to cost-reduction projects – the excitement of creating value reigns. As a startup grows and adds layers of “professional” management to control the complexity that comes with that growth, an insidious shift takes place. The mindset at the top flips from raising revenue to reducing costs and increasing efficiency. In large organizations, every employee has experienced multiple, ubiquitous, top-down “cost reduction initiatives“, the worst of which is the dreaded reduction-in-force initiative. On the other hand, org-wide initiatives to increase revenues are rare.