Author Topic: The Road to Hell: Organizational dysfunction and how good intentions got us all  (Read 1074 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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The Road to Hell: Organizational dysfunction and how good intentions got us all into this mess

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th C
As a founding partner and lead consultant for Berlineaton, a 22 years successful management consulting firm based in Victoria BC, I lead the Continuous Improvement practice. We partner with visionary leaders working hard to streamline and simplify critically important, but astonishingly frustrating, business processes for people.

It appears that, while many of the hundreds of projects we’ve helped deliver have been launched to address some kind of dysfunction within our clients’ organizations, most of these dysfunctions have been ‘hard wired’ in. I mean, no one goes out of their way to intentionally build frustrating, disconnected, overly complex ways of doing things yet, despite decades of education, training and experience, and millions of dollars invested in information technology, we still seem to get it wrong. 
Why is that?
We’d argue that it’s not because people are dumb or disinterested although, sadly, the tendency of some is to blame individuals or work units for their frustrations.  I’ve found that many organizations operating in the information age of the 21st Century are, unconsciously, still operating in a fashion that would be recognized by anyone who is familiar with Charles Dickens; or Dilbert. Therefore, before embarking on any kind of improvement project, it’s important to understand, and appreciate, where people are starting from with respect to this unconscious organizational baggage which, in most cases was packed with the best of intentions, centuries ago. 
Here are some things we’ve discovered about how the good intentions of many advanced industrial age thinkers have created many of the iron hard cultural paradigms present in many modern organizations, and few ideas about how to fix that….

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon