11 December 2006

The Paradox of Organizations

Organizations will always be problematic. Organizations have to institutionalize a particular approach. This can be seen in rituals, process, and a particular solution set. Yet organizations have to be flexible, open to change, willing to abandon what no longer works as they strive to survive.

Create predictable processes and worldview? Or be open to re-arranging around unpredictable learning? Without the first, there really is no contiguous organization. Without the latter, the organization is eventually made obsolete by a changing environment, by changing people.

1 comment:

Life Hiker said...

Every organization needs predictable processes, but the idea that worldviews are predictable (i.e., stable or changing slowly) kills organizations.

Organizations must institutionalize the idea that every planning period requires a fresh, unbiased look at both the internal and external environments.

All employees need to feel free to communicate their ideas (facts would be nice!) about what is changing and the options for responding to the changes.

Continually adjusting to new realities doesn't necessarily mean an organization will live a long and healthy life. But at least the work will be interesting enough to encourage hanging out there, and the people will be knowledgable enough to know when it's their time to leave.