Anxiety is built into organizations.
The anxiety stems from peoples dependence on one another.
- If I build something but you do not sell it, I may get blamed.
- If I cook a feast but the person who designs the menu makes it appear unattractive, then fingers may be pointed at me.
- If I teach a course but the room is too hot, people may walk out on me.
- If I answer the clients’ queries but the IT system is too slow, then the level of service provided gets knocked.
This inherent anxiety happens both within organizations and well as between organizations. Lawyers are used to lessen the anxiety between organizations. Sometime SLA’s (service level agreements) are used, with very partial success, to mitigate anxiety between people and functions within one organization.
Nothing whatsoever can eliminate this anxiety. It is a built in feature. The only way to mitigate the anxiety is to talk about it, acknowledge overlapping responsibilities, maintain realistic goals, reward cooperation and hire-for-both-attitude and competence.
In the framework of the supervision I constantly hammer my young flock to avoid jumping to wow-wowism and sloganeering to paper over the basic anxiety all organizational members carry on their backs or in their gut.
It’s there, and we need to learn to live with it. It cannot be otherwise, nor should it be. Depending on others is no mean feat.