The Organizational Development Muse

Dr. Mark L. Vincent's Blog

Decluttering the company: Design Group International

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Aug 11, 2014 7:00:00 AM
I am a big fan of the Schumpeter column in The Economist. The 2 August 2014 column,  Decluttering the Company hit a nerve for me….hard.

schumpeter Two brief quotes from the article make the point:

1. Quoting Peter Drucker, “Much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.

2. “The most debilitating form of clutter is organisational complexity.”


The editorial goes on to define where such complexity occurs:

  • structure
  • meetings
  • e-mail (the editorial calls any e-mail a time tax for people at either end of the communication)

Think of this as organizational artery clogging — globs of fat clinging to the production lines that produce revenue. Arteries need to be there so that what is needed can flow to the parts of the system that need it. Impediments need to be removed without delay.  If not, management tasks shift from managing the flow to managing around the impediments. Ouch!

In the 14 years of its existence Design Group International has grown in a rhythm of surging forward, stabilizing, a slight retrenchment and then surging ahead again. 2014 finds us in the middle of yet another surge. 

Each subsequent cycle happens in a tighter timeframe and with more impediments threatening our arterial flow. We are sorely tempted to add policy, internal processes, layers of communication and more meetings. Our ability to choose something necessary to add must be matched by the courage to end something else—to work diligently for an ever freer capacity for the arterial flow that drives this business of helping leaders and organizations transform for a vibrant future. If we can’t do it, how can we help anyone else?

I also notice that I must do the same thing personally. If my life is clogged I will have difficulty paying attention to the clogs that threaten our wonderful company.

-mark l vincent 

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Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, decluttering the company

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