If I had a say in new roles for large organizations, I think I would establish this new Division:
VP of Simplicity
Directorate of Waste Disposal
Noise Reduction Unit
Revolving Door Ideas Breaking Squads
Just kidding. The last thing we need is another armoured Division in a divided organization.
But the principal is still nagging me. A lot.
In many organizations I know, the enemy is within. It’s called self-inflicted complexity. And that self-inflicted complexity is often justified by the real complexity of the business, the environment, the operations.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Waste (of time, of ideas, of hope) accumulates.
Noise (rumours, second guessing, sense of apocalyptic events just around the corner) increases. In some big cities, traffic has been banned due to pollution. Corporations take note, it’s not about the level of sulphur dioxide or carbon monoxide in the air, but the other pollution: negativism, procrastination, and monkey-passing amongst other toxic particles.
And you might have noticed that some issues never go away, they disappear briefly through the door, but come back through the other side immediately. It’s a revolving door. They refuse to go. Like some consultants. (A very funny client told me once that they had finished a long time ago a big mother-of-all-restructuring projects via that Big Consulting Company, but the consultants were still in her office).
There is an alpha-men-and-women busy-ness that shows how important we all are, and how difficult the issues on the plate are, and how many stakeholder-constituencies-people to please we have to consider. Frankly, in some cases it feels Herculean.
However. Is it?
The problem with self-inflicted complexity is that one is so busy dealing with it that we miss the real objective complexity. Then we add the salt and pepper of noise and recycled items, and the entire company becomes a gigantic Hi-Fi. If the aliens are listening and looking for clues, they will surely receive those signals and noises from our corporations, all packaged in one (since we have lost the capacity to distinguish between signal and noise)
Mmm. On second thoughts, maybe that VP office is not such a bad idea.
Reality is complex, but organizational processes need to go on a diet, so that humans can actually talk to each other.
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