Organizational Change

When a person or an organization wishes to change, one of the hardest parts of that change can be allowing yourself to accept what others see in you and your organization.

Command and Control is a good example of this.

Using the term “Command and Control” and categorizing ones current organization as that is a very risky and provocative approach.  It is almost guaranteed to annoy folks who will frequently reject the categorization as unfair and inaccurate and feel that it is missing the point and missing the value of current processes within in the organization that have been learned over time and through hard lessons.

Here’s a different approach to identifying command and control:

When a person is asked for information and the response is “sure. I will ask [other people] about that and get back to you” this is a different indicator, but a clear indicator non the less, that command and control is at play.  When the person who is initially asked for the connection remains in the loop they are seeking to validate their position and ego.  This is an uncomfortable fact that I have seen in every organization and industry I have worked in over the past 30 years.  It is defended in many ways as reasonable, practical and simply common sense.  Modern and re-invented organizations have learned however that this doesn’t work well at all in today modern, agile, flexible world.

In many agile organizations, different approaches are taken when this situation (a person seeks information) comes up:

  • The person who knows the other people connects the two third parties to each other and then _steps back and removes themselves_ from the current and future  conversation.
  • All relevant parties are invited to a custom conversation (for example a slack channel) created on-the-fly just for the directly involved people.  The ‘person in the middle’ may be one of the members but again they largely ‘step back’ and allow the other members to communicate directly for the current and future conversation.