By Articlevia squawkpoint.com
Decisions, Information and the Perfect Organisation
“The perfect organisation might have existed when we were tribes of hunter gatherers. Everybody knew everybody else and the world was simple. But as our organisations grow in size and complexity, it is far more likely that:
- The leader is no wiser or more intelligent than his staff. He is just more driven, works longer hours and spends less time with his children.
- Clear accountability has created divisions, issue ducking and finger pointing.
- The messages that flow upward are managed, massaged and on occasion mutilated.
- We have stamped out dissent and created cultures where yes-men thrive.
The information that percolates to the top is sugar coated to the point of banality. The decisions that flow back down can’t help but be flawed.
That may sound a bit bleak, but do you want to go to the pub with your wise and charismatic CEO? You could tell him how your part of the business is faring.
So what could you do instead?
No one person can hope to understand how our huge, complicated organisations work. Even without the truncated messages that get passed up the chain. There is simply too much for one man to understand.
So instead of managing the information flow upward, force the decision making downward. Those who are closest to the action have the most complete knowledge. Let them make decisions.
Of course that will only work if managers stop telling their staff what to do and start respecting what they have to say. Maybe then the staff will stop sugar coating the information that they pass upstairs.”