Sunday, November 04, 2012

What Will Tomorrow Bring: Retro Fashion in Organizations

The organization, whether group, tribe, team, corporation, or government represents the ugly, bloody edge of our evolution as social animals. It's complicated ... and we're not NEARLY done yet. Perhaps a few millennia down the pike we will get it right.

At the moment, I feel safe in saying that we are all collectively burnt and battered into pessimism about our ability to get it right. Look left. Look right. Share your booze with your neighbor. Their loosened lips will start to tell you how anti-government, anti-bank, anti-corporate, or anti-politics they are. 

I can't purport to foresee the best master plan. But I am an organization-man. Based on daily frustrations, I can highlight a few very very VERY simple things which will ever-so-slightly evolve us. These things were once fashionable in organizations, but have gone out of style. It's time to go retro.
  • Meeting agendas and minutes
  • Documentation of decision taken and justification thereof
  • Reading materials prior to meetings
  • Discussing and understanding issues prior to meetings
  • Taking time to give the context of a discussion beforehand
  • Following up on your OWN To Dos
  • Speaking in simple sentences which directly respond to the question at hand
  • Making decisions based on informed analysis and then EXPLAINING your decision-drivers to anyone who will listen. Rinse and repeat until you have consensus.
  • Saying you were wrong. And knowing why.
  • Building objective business cases for investments
  • Viewing man/hours as a valuable asset you are investing
  • Overtly recognizing and funding innovation time at all levels (except at Google, of course)
  • Having a secretary to keep the high-priced execs from spending hours formatting documents and finding conference rooms for meetings. (talk about inefficient division of labor)

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