Read the latest article, Organizational Change Requires Transparency, from Reed Deshler and Max Hobbs featured on TheConference Board Website: Unless it’s your birthday, secrets have a tendency to erode trust. Leaders of organizations carry the burden of insight and the power to make decisions that affect a lot of people. It
Altering the organization’s structure might be necessary, but approaching change by changing the organization chart alone is insufficient in most cases. Over the years, a pseudo-science has emerged that focuses on finding the perfect organization chart. We call this boxology. Even if a perfect organization chart did exist (with the
Organizations often have their own specific third rails—sensitive topics that are so highly charged that no one feels they can survive trying to address a problem or change needed. Sometimes these are long overdue changes where a powerful executive shuts down discussion. And so the organization continues irrationally behaving the
So you have to make cuts. Make sure they’re the right cuts. “Here I am—most unwelcome, I know. Against my own will, too, since no one loves a messenger who brings with him bad news.” Sophocles’ play Antigone expresses well the distaste of delivering bad news. It’s one of the toughest parts of being a leader. And often the bad news is that costs must be cut.
Only by living in a house do we come to know intimately the many disadvantages of our particular structure. Depending on our attitude, this may become all we see. We may long for another house – one without the downsides that daily irritate us. We romanticize about how much better our lives would be in that other house, without those issues that have fatigued us. But we may learn that another house brings a new set of downsides. Sometimes it makes sense to give up our current structure and move to another house, but sometimes we learn we’ve just traded one set of problems for another.