Sometimes restructuring is done with the intention of solving a collaboration problem. A people don’t talk to B people; if we create a C home for A and B people together, they will talk. However, the new C people look mysteriously as uncollaborative as before.
At the core of this flawed thinking is the idea that structural solutions solve behavioural problems. They hardly do. Structural solutions, such as a reorganization, can indeed be a good enabler of behaviours, even a temporary trigger. But these behaviours have a life of their own, their own mechanisms of reinforcement and sustainability. They need do be addressed on their own merits.
Another way to look at this is to say that the traditional, conventional wisdom sequence of ‘structure creates process and systems, and then behaviours will come as a consequence’, is the problem. The real, forgotten sequence is ‘behaviours sustain (or not) whatever process and systems come from new structures’. Translation: behaviours must (should) be in the system first, not as an afterthought, a by-product.
Translation 2: install behaviours first.
It is simply another version of the old ‘we will tackle A, B and C first, then, when done, we will deal with culture’. This way of thinking (culture as the soft by-product) has been very harmful to management.
So, for example, restructuring for collaboration, when not much collaboration exists, is bound to create lots of anxiety and not much new collaboration.
In behavioural terms, if you see a sequence in which behaviours are last, it is likely to have the wrong thinking behind it. If you start with ‘what kind of behaviours do I need to?’, you are likely to be on the right track.
Join us for a series of webinars as Dr Herrero and his team of Organization Architects explore the future of organizational life. We will explain how the 3 Pillars of The Chalfont Project’s Organizational Architecture – smart organizational design, large scale behavioural and cultural change and collective leadership – work together to create a “Better Way” for organizations to flourish in the post-COVID world.
- Webinar 1: “A Better Way to…Design your organizational structures to create a Remarkable Organization for the future.”
27th May, 1730 BST/1830 CET
- Webinar 2: “A Better Way to…Create sustainable large scale behavioural and cultural change across your organization.”
3rd June, 1730 BST/1830 CET
- Webinar 3: “A Better Way to…Build and enhance your collective leadership capabilities.”
17th June, 1730 BST/1830 CET