Corporate Culture and OD
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Corporate Culture and OD
All the best articles available on-line about Organisation Development and Corporate Culture. This enables OD, HR, Change and OE practitioners to be more effective in their attempts to improve the culture of the organisations and businesses they encounter.
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Handling Complexity in Decision-Making: Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings

Handling Complexity in Decision-Making:  Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Why would a $100M power plant zoning approval take 3 minutes and a request to build a $10,000 bike rack for city sidewalks take hours?


It's easy to be swept up in the trivial and fun stuff, starving the big issues for the time and consideration they merit.  Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian and operations researcher, penned this extreme example of decision-making in meetings in his book Parkinson's Law. Paraphrasing the Wikipedia entry, the powerplant is so expensive, the sums of money are hard to frame.

 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, March 24, 2014 12:27 PM

This is a post useful for anyone connected to public sector meetings, or any meeting with complex topics.  I've posted this in change leadership watch for the reasons of asking you, the reader the question, have you ever helped a decision making body avoid the The Abilene Paradox, a classic management film about avoiding mismanaged agreement?

This post also illustrates the power of Parkinson's Law where board members lazily skip over the seemingly impenetrable problem in the meeting, deferring to the team managing the project. There will be implications for years of this city council meeting's decisions, and yet it is decided in three minutes.  It's astounding, assuming we haven't been excluded from a long list of previous meeting discussions.   ~ D

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 24, 2014 11:58 PM

Most humans have no comprehension of $100 million, but understand $10, 000.

Tom Russell's curator insight, March 27, 2014 7:00 AM

I'm sure we can all identify with this scenario. It reminds me of a school football game when everybody is running after the ball regardless of their agreed position on the pitch. Clearly where there is passion there is engagement, so focussing on, and agreeing, clear outcomes is a key starting point if one is going to avoid everyone being kicked in the shins.

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From Scrum to Lean | Nettuts+

From Scrum to Lean | Nettuts+ | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

While Scrum's primary goal is organization and project management, Lean is more about optimizing processes in order to quickly produce quality products. It can.

 

A Little History

Lean is a set of principles defined by the Japanese automobile manufacturing industry in the 1980s. The Toyota quality engineer, John Krafcik, coined the term, while observing the processes and tools used to eliminate waste in mass automobile production. It wasn’t until 2003 that Mary and Tom Poppendieck introduced Lean as a software development process in their book, Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit.

 

 

Whereas Scrum is a set of rules and roles, Lean is a set of principles and concepts with a handful of tools. Both are considered Agile techniques, and they share the same ideology of delivering fast, while reducing defects and errors. I always emphasize Agile’s adaptability, but can’t ignore the fact that Scrum presents itself as a mandatory set of rules. In fact, Scrum’s religious fans would shout blasphemy for not following Scrum’s rules to the letter...


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Overcoming Perplexity - Frames of Mind Required for Engaging with Complexity, by Aiden Choles

Overcoming Perplexity - Frames of Mind Required for Engaging with Complexity, by Aiden Choles | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

A curious thing happens when it comes to making decisions in contexts that are complex. Psychological mechanisms seem to pull the carpet out from under our rationality. Here’s a story to illustrate this …

 

An up and coming manager in a minerals company based in Johannesburg was offered a promotion to lead a new team at a rural mining operation. Being in a far-flung rural area, the manager had to uproot his young family from suburbia where they were fairly comfortable and established. His wife agreed and they entered the new chapter of their lives, moving to a house provided by the company on the new mine. The new house had no garden and no grass for the kids to play on so the manager’s wife set about establishing a modest garden. Just as the grass was turning green, after weeks of intense effort, the husband returned home one evening with a memo from senior management. Water usage on the operation and in the surrounding communities was too high, it said. Seeing that the company supplied water to the community and that the operation was in a water scarce region, the community had to reduce their water usage. Amongst other restrictions, watering gardens was now prohibited. This infuriated the wife, but they had no choice. They could not have a garden. They had effectively relocated to a desert, she thought. This was not the lifestyle she wanted, or had chosen.

After a short while the manager resigned due to the family pressure of the relocation and moved back to Johannesburg. After encountering similar resignation stories, the mine’s HR manager escalated the exit interview transcript to the MD because she felt it was unacceptable to lose such promising talent over what she thought was a silly water restriction. The MD was unperturbed. ‘We operate in a water scarce environment’, he said. ‘We need to save water. We cannot be distracted by wives and children who want nice green grass to play on. This is a mine after all.’

 

This story is an example of how, when faced with a complex problem, managers can slip into a reductive frame of mind and deal with the problem by splitting off the adaptive challenge from the technical problem.

 


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3 Ways Leaders Maintain Their Composure in Turbulence: Mack Brown

3 Ways Leaders Maintain Their Composure in Turbulence:  Mack Brown | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace in the post 2008 economy, becoming more mobile, more transient, more flexible, more innovative, and more strategic and diverse.


Excerpted from a list of 7:

1. Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Get in the Way

 

Seasoned leaders ...don’t yell or get overly animated when times get tough. These types of leaders have such emotional self-control that even their body language does not give them away.

 

4. Remain Fearless

When leaders project confidence, they instill it in others. ...

 

....Recently, Mack Brown, the former coach of the University of Texas (UT) football team, was put under a lot of pressure to resign as a result of his team underperforming in 2013. Though the University handled his forced resignation poorly – considering Mr. Brown had coached the team successfully for the past 16 years – his decisiveness the day he announced his resignation made you feel that his transition out of the job was a positive thing for the university.


Human nature will tell you that he must have been hurting inside, but his decisiveness and presence of mind made those that were watching him speak believe that the future looked bright for UT football.


 

6. Take Accountability

 

Leaders are most composed during times of crisis and change when they are fully committed to resolving the issue at hand. ...this means that you have made the decision to assume responsibility and take the required steps to problem solve before the situation gets out of hand.

 

Article by Glenn Llopis, Contributor.  Full article here.
Glenn offers the immigrant perspective how how companies can become more mobile, more transient, more flexible, more innovative, and more strategic and diverse.

 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, January 24, 2014 11:46 AM

This is a helpful list.  Although I don't agree with all the items, it's useful for reflection in tough times.  

For example, authenticity and showing vulnerability is about honesty, and leaders do need to show this vulnerability from time to time, to be fully trusted.   Mack Brown may have shown this side to someone, yet in public, he did what was right for the school and the team.   ~ D

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Leadership in the Age of Complexity - From Hero to Host | Margaret Wheatley and Debbie Frieze


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WorldsView Academy's curator insight, September 19, 2013 3:29 AM

"It is time for the heroes to go home, for us to give up those hopes and expectations that only breed dependency and passivity", indeed, it is time to realise we all have a responsibility to come up with the solutions.