In a recent post, I suggested that many organizational regulatory mechanisms that are in place to standardize organizational life may never work well anymore, because of a paradigm shift in what way organizations work.
In this post, I will spell out 3 doomed mechanisms.
1) Enhancing Employee Engagement
The labour force appears to clearly understand that engagement is too often a manipulation which means” “bust your ass and do whatever it takes to help the company succeed”, even though management will and does fire staff without blinking an eyelid to make results look better in the short run.
Enhancing employee engagement as presently understood is futile effort; there is a need to move beyond engagement sloganeering to address the need for a new contract between management and labour.
Management often relies on reorg after reorg as a medicine for nearly all organizational ailments. Changes of structure do not solve problems of trust, lack of transparency nor do they compensate for incompetence.
Managers use this medicine and board members “put up” with these reorganizations because it is “doing”, and buys time. Yes, what I am saying is that the motive for reorgs is often political.
OD consultants over 40 know (and all staff) know that these frequent reorganizations take place in order to avoid change.
3) Obsessive Clarification of the process
Process needs some clarity but organizational reality is very, very complex and one cannot define away complexity via process. In extreme global complexity, organizations need to develop appropriate staffing, team work, and cooperation instead of obsessing about process quality.
In the dying OD profession, those of us who do still work should not spend too much time to make outdated mechanisms work.
OD should focus on implementing change and not reorganizations, rebuilding the social contract between management and labour, and building teamwork and trust.
Clients which smell the coffee desist from beating the dead horse of more reorgs and overdosing on process clarity. And those who don’t use change managers and OD consultants the wrong way.
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