We need teaming up, but we may not need more teams. We need role-modelling but may not need to call people ‘role models’.
As a senior banker said a long time ago, well before the ubiquitous online banking, ‘banking is needed, banks are not’.
The meed is usually in the verb, not the nouns. We need the functionality of banking without the bank-as-a-building. We need communicating but not necessarily a Communications Division. Nobody ‘needs’ HR or OD or Quality as divisions or groups but we need the functionalities they provide. There may be people outside those official groups that a are better at the functionality. (Conversely, the role of those Functional Divisions is to be better than anybody else at what they do, or become redundant)
Many things do not have clear homes. Is branding what Branding Departments do? Or are the guys in Marketing? Why does Employee Engagement need to be in HR? Do you need an Innovation Division to innovate?
A few years ago, in a BBC documentary called ‘How Britain was built’, the presenter in the episode ‘The Victorians’ said, ‘for every problem, the Victorians had a building’. Mental illness? I’ll give you big asylums. Transportation? You’ll have big train stations. Real Big. Local government? Try Manchester City Council as a Big Building.
We are still today Victorians in management. For every problem we create a building, but we call it team, committee, task force. By creating the nouns, we think we deal with the verbs. But we don’t.
Starting with the verb always pays off.
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