The highly competitive, technologically driven and ever changing modern World of Work has a significant impact on the development of organisational culture, relationships, teamwork and long term organisational focus. When we are busy as humans, the things that are urgent but not necessarily important are taken care of at the cost of important but less urgent areas. The unfortunate side effects are that many organisations suffer from a number of symptoms that often negatively impact their sustainable competitiveness. These symptoms are usually systemically interlinked, but this may not be obvious to people that reside within the system. This is largely due to the way that system dynamics influence people’s perspectives and lenses.
Typical organisational warning signs include:
- Our staff appear lethargic, slow and disinterested. It seems as though senior management must get too deeply involved to get things moving.
- We appear to be spending huge amounts of time maintaining our current business, but not sufficient time creating a new future. Are we in danger of losing our competitive edge?
- Our best people are leaving, and/or we find it difficult finding / attracting / retaining suitable talent at all levels. We are puzzled why this is, as we believe we have lots to offer.
- We have a culture of finding fault everywhere and hence struggle to innovate and energise people.
- We think we are doing all the right things to be number 1 in the market, yet we are not satisfied with our performance. What must we do?
- We just cannot find and retain suitable black talent. Are we looking in the right places, and why do black staff leave us?
- Why are certain departments / divisions not cooperating and appear to be duplicating / competing with each other. How do we get them to leverage off each other?
- Our staff appear to be satisfied with a sub-optimal status quo and avoid challenging each other’s perspectives or coming up with ideas.
- We experience workplace theft, union action, high absenteeism, grievances over seemingly irrelevant issues, distrust, anger … this is all in spite of us doing everything we can to make staff happy.
- Have we outgrown our structure? What should it look like?
- We are a younger, medium sized company that has grown rapidly, the style and methods we used to get to where we are, are no longer working. What must we do?
- We have picked up an inordinate amount of bureaucracy along the way, which is bogging us down. Is this all necessary?
- Everyone seems to look towards the CEO for leadership, without him/her nothing spectacular happens.
- The board seems to be too operational and we are hamstrung as senior leadership. What must we do?