Saturday, December 20, 2014

Signs of a Dysfunctional Organization Structure

Organization structure is very important for the success of any enterprise.

However, many organizations fail to grow due to apparent ignorance of this simple aspect.

Such organizations are started by a group of individuals who keep the control within themselves by creating what can be called as a dysfunctional organization structure.

Such a group of individuals form a well knit coterie where anyone joining at a senior level remains an outsider.

Here are some typical signs of a dysfunctional organization structure. 
  • There are certain functions where the coterie doesn't have the needed skill set but still one from the coterie is made the head of the function. The head is forced from above in a ridiculous way. The only intent is to retain the control with the coterie.
  • Such organizations find it extremely difficult to hire a professional at a senior level. Senior professionals hired by such organizations are trapped in a dysfunctional organization. 
  • Any professional will easily figure out the prevalence of the coterie culture and utter lack of professionalism in such organizations and stay away.
  • Professionals joining such organizations at the middle level will soon find themselves trapped and start feeling suffocated and will move on.
  • There is a glass ceiling due to the strong coterie culture which eventually results in no churn in the senior level and high churn in all other levels below.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Examples of Bad Leadership

Bad leadership is the primary reason why many companies fail to grow, stagnate and eventually die. Here are some examples that characterize bad leadership.
  • You work hard for achieving a major milestone for the company and the company's top man humiliates you by inviting someone else to join him while going for the celebratory lunch
  • The top man puts a trusted lieutenant over your head whose only job is to second guess you, give suggestions for the sake of it (and stupid suggestions at that), steal the credit blatantly and show you down in all possible ways
  • For decisions where you have accountability and limited authority the top man always communicates only over email while religiously copying the trusted lieutenant
  • The trusted lieutenant in such companies has poor intellectual horsepower in general and no understanding of the area he looks over the head of the professional manager handling that area
  • The top man is completely hands off and doesn't like any criticism whatsoever. He prefers "yes sir" stooges and invariably promotes a coterie culture
  • Such organizations are breeding ground of people with attitude. In such companies some of the trusted lieutenants of the top man think as if the whole world (and not just the company) revolves around them
  • Such organizations are soul-killers for anyone who believes in professionalism, fairness and transparency
  • A professional manager would always be an outsider in such organizations. And the only advice for such people is not to join and in case have made the mistake of joining quit at the earliest
  • Such organizations have an old boys club and no one joins at a senior level. In case someone at senior level leaves it is difficult to fill that position. Also, those whole leave at the senior level are the "outsider" professionals but not the "coterie" trusted lieutenants
The best way to deal with bad leadership in case one is stuck in such a situation is to simply move on. The culture and the lack of professionalism in such companies (where sound bites from the top man would be full of lies and falsehood) would not allow a true professional to grow in their career.

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