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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Prescription For 'Work Effectiveness Improvement' 

Dave Pollard's review of Bill Jensen's Simplicity raises some important issues in today's business world.

As Dave notes, Jensen states that "...poor decision-making is the root cause of business error and ineffectiveness...". In my opinion, poor decision-making is more of a symptom. The real problem is that large organizations are not effective at managing uncertainty and change. Their static structure doesn't adapt easily to new business environments. Therefore, there's always a gap between the structure of the market and the structure of the organization. This is this gap that creates unnecessary complexity and poor decision-making.

Dave suggests that "Today's organization is more like a jazz combo than an army, and needs a very different kind of team facilitation and 'leadership'." Today's organization is actually like a jazz combo that needs to play classic, jazz, rock, R&B, rap and new age music during a one-night concert. The show would be better off if a number of musicians were called on stage for one or a few songs that they're good at playing and would then leaving. The large organization structure is just no longer the best model.

Being an advocate of professional training, I agree that individual workers need to become more independent and self-sufficient thinkers through training. However, I don't see how it would dramatically impact organizations in today's paradigm. KM is failing for exactly the same reason.

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