Friday, May 15, 2009

Survival of the fittest-continued!!

The logic of give and take is clearly the key to survival and strength which is underlined in my last post. However while the natural forces work with a clear logic of prioritization in the path of evolution this is not necessarily true in organizational settings. There are several extraneous factors and politics which create imbalances in favor or against give and take. The central control factor or leadership plays a very key role here. It is good that most times leadership takes an ambiguous stand allowing the concerned to resolve issues(reflecting true spirit of decentralized management)-this does not result in step changes as the process is very painful with each trying to justify and protect their own turf. The current economic slowdown for example can be taken as a situation similar to environment changes (sudden like a volcanic eruption) forcing evolution at a quick pace. This forces organizations to review the internal setups and come with some radical changes. In some companies even the pre-study shows very small opportunities as the people involved in pre-study are themselves concerned parties. Most of them describe that the opportunities are similar to Cheese slicing...and this is complete nonsense as per me. The opportunities exist and it is for people to have an open mind to see it. Even if pre-studies come with opportunities the implementation takes for ever and by the time implementation starts probably there is some positive signals in environment further slowing the evolution. This is a situation which is both dangerous for the organization's long term survival and a challenge to the leadership to drive positive changes. For sure a change is always painful especially when it is quick. But not to make changes is even more painful..imagine if we continue to walk with tails and someone stamping on your tail as you walk or you get tripped by another tail. Quite amusing to think but it makes sense that we don't have tail in hindsight. If it was given to individual choices then maybe the evolution will still be happening(and we may have longest tail competitions etc).
Therefore it is important to accelerate evolution which is possible with a strong directional leadership which fosters collaboration. The collaboration should negate all the "Passive resistance"(everyone agrees but none move-happy meetings,same agenda every time) syndrome which is the most dangerous pandemic in organizations. This creates stagnation as people live in their comfort zones (with tails for example) and never look at each problem as an opportunity as they are very much in their own little world. There will also be a tendency to push for over optimization in areas which are easy by the same people but create long term disadvantages. This should be noticed early and even at the cost of being called dictatorial there should be loud and clear mandates with time lines. Nothing works better than "Act the talk"...leaders should review those who are in their immediate teams and show the door to people who are actively or passively championing the slow progress by being defensive or justifying status quo in organization changes. To make a change is a matter of attitude, to drive a change is a matter of follow up and to be the change is a matter of passion.

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Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!