During the holiday season, many people take the time to read an exciting novel or an inspiring management book. From my profession, I am extremely interested in organizational development, organizational change and innovation. This mainly concerns how you can change the culture into a customer-oriented organization. Ultimately, that should be the most important thing, the rest serves as a shell to support this, whereby the employees should be seen as the most important layer close to the customers / clients.
I was tipped into one of my conversations to read Wouter Hart’s book: “Twisted Organizations” (Dutch). And I must say that it is a very inspiring book. Definitely recommended to read this, if you can start your work or your company again after your holiday.
Rules versus Passion and Craftsmanship
Wouter Hart beautifully illustrates how the “system world” has influenced the living environment, or actually has it in its power. While the intention – purpose – must be the starting point for the environment. The environment is the here and now where everything takes place and is influenced far too much by the system world of rules, protocols, assessment system, etc. For example, people have found a job in Homecare because they want to take care of others. People have started working at a Bank because they want to provide clients with financial advice.
However, they are, and almost everyone, greatly inhibited by the operational management: the system of rules, procedures and task splitting that has been created. The intention, the reason why they have ever chosen the profession, is no longer their daily drive to go to work. In each activity, risk, time and responsibility are the most important restrictions to take into account. Actually, that is a great pity because you take away craftsmanship and passion. Ultimately that has an effect on your customers who notice it. Both do not actually get what they earn.
What is the reason that you have your current job or business? What is your intention? And what are you inhibited by? Beautiful questions to think about, I think …
According to Wouter, high-performance organizations manage to work from the intention, because they are able to give people a lot of freedom and responsibility. They do give direction to the Why and the What, but they do not interfere with the How and Who.
Not easy, but inspiring
Of course not easy to achieve that, but where there is willingness to pursue, there is achievement. I also think it is necessary to be an inspiring employer for talented people now and in the future. They look for organizations that do not determine top-down what needs to be done. They are looking for organizations where customers & employees are central. There they get space and freedom to do that which is really good.
How much space and freedom do you as an employer or entrepreneur give to your people? How do you ensure that they can make a difference to the customer? When did you last ask if they are having fun?
Seems like a nice start to talk about this with each other, before you know it it’s too late.