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How To Become A Disobedient Organisation

Source | Shaping work.com  | Paul Taylor 

Imagine being given $250,000 for deliberately breaking the rules. No strings attached.

That’s exactly what MIT are doing.

Recognising that societies and institutions lean toward order and away from chaos they have launched an award and cash prize that will go to a person or group engaged in an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society.

MIT want to see if they can identify creative and principled disobedience.

Perhaps 2017 is a time for not doing what you’re told.

70% of us are not engaged in the work we do with over a third saying our jobs are meaningless.

This lack of engagement with work comes at a time when we need more world changing ideas than ever before.

Maybe the answer lies in a move away from complex and bureaucratic systems.

As Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree write — organisational complexity has gone up 6 fold since 1955. The number of procedures & rules to fight the same complexity have seen a 35-fold increase.

In the most complicated organisations managers spend more than 40% of their time writing reports, and between 30–60% of their time on meetings.

There could be a very simple reason for the growth of organisational complexity:

We are employing more managers than ever before. And management is the least efficient activity in your organisation.

As Gary Hamel has pointed out, the U.S managerial workforce has grown by 90%. In the UK the employment share of managers and supervisors increased to 16% in 2015.

Removing managers is never going to be a popular choice — not least with managers — so a better focus might be to encourage people to overtly identify complex or perverse rules.

  • Hootsuite has appointed a Czar of Bad Systems — with the authority to challenge the rules and fix the things that never get fixed –anywhere in the company.
  • Adrian Cho at Shopify is Director of Getting Shit Done , a role aimed at breaking tradition and accelerating decision-making.
  • Philippa Jones at Bromford encourages colleagues to “Do the right thing, not the rule thing” — building positive rule breaking into everyday service.                                                                                                                                                                                 Readon..

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