Monday, September 7th, 2015

HIRE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST!!

We do live in incredibly deep and well-defined cultures.
And we don’t know them well.  We think we do. 
And organizations are very very very powerful cultures.
The more powerful the culture, the more blind spots exist.
This column-(chapter of some book, some time -there I’ve admitted it–this is not a blog) is meant to point to the blind spots that happen in the culture of the CEO or top level leaders.  It’s based on my experience being an EVP and my observations. Not one bit scientific or pure.
A new business book is out addressing the silos that are created in organizations–THE SILO EFFECT by Gillian Tett– and the blind spots this creates. This book would have been of deep interest in the late 70’s but now seems dated and the solutions are common practice in many companies. (If I am wrong, then I worked for a much more progressive company than I realized.) Her direct data gathering is shallow. 

BUT, two things stick with me:

l. Hire an anthropologist to deeply observe your company at all levels and where the customer meets the business. Not a consultant. Get yourself a field study of your company.

2. Realize that your thinking is probably very limited when it comes to new ideas about structure.  Find a way to play with possibilities.  Using DeBono’s method on lateral thinking is a good beginning.  
We are in a time when most organizing structures are not suited for the world as it is today. We need:
—Fluidity 
—The ability to join and leave and join and leave
—Deep understanding of context and strategy for freedom of action without chaos
—A core culture that doesn’t rely on a buliding or org chart
—Trust that people don’t need to be over-attached to be loyal
—Movement that is not restricted by too many check-lists or reports 
—Talent and initiative not tight accountability efforts to compensate for lack of both

Food for play.




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