flowing motion

Don’t let anyone get “too big for their boots” (and stand on our toes)!

Posted on: March 6, 2010

Core theory shouldn’t mean that some people can become “too big for their boots”

The core and the essence of the organization

I learned about Art Kleiner’s core theory this week.  Organizations revolve around the ‘interests’ of a core group of people.  And so they should, because there is always a core who provide the organization with its very essence.

Recognize the core, protect the core, but don’t ‘spoil it’

Sadly though, organizations are often corrupt.  The organization isn’t protecting and nourishing the core that gives it is essence. It is simply allowing a handful of people to claim ‘protection’ money.

All organization theory is an exercise in limiting moral hazard

All organization theory is really an exercise in limiting ‘moral hazard’.  We don’t want people being so privileged that their personal privilege insulates them from the realities in the world.

So without diminishing the essence of the core, which is also the essence of the organization, we don’t allow our core to become “too big for their boots”.  It’s not good for them.  It’s not good for us.

Building an organization that nourishes the core and involves us too

Here are 5 “wicked” ideas and questions that we use to help people understand their organization in healthy terms.

1.  We make the company every day by what we do.

2.  Together we act out a story.

3.  There is more than one story we could tell.

4.  Why do I have to speak for you?  What can’t everyone speak for themselves?

5.  What does the story we have chosen say about our relationships with each other and are we willing to talk about why we have chosen this set of relationships?

Why have we chosen this set of relationships?

This is the wicked question and test whether the feet and boots fit, so to speak.

Are people able to explain why the relationships in the organization as they are? Are they able to say these things aloud and is what they say acceptable and motivating?

Why have we chosen this set of relationships?

You don’t even need an answer.  You just have to watch whether people are willing to ask the question and answer the question.

When this is an acceptable conversation, you are in healthy place.

When this conversation is taboo, it is time to look for better company (or take over and lead the organization yourself).

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