Work From Home? Wow, That’s Fantastic!
While many companies are currently wrestling with their policies around “Hybrid, Remote, 232*, or WFH” it is important to keep in mind that WFH did not create the growing awareness of organizational confusion and dysfunction that is alive in modern organizations, WFH has only brought it to the surface, made us more aware of its specter.
Only after WFH policies are in place, quarters pass, and employee turnover happens, will the true extent of our organizational confusion and dysfunction come to light.
More than ever, relying on tribal knowledge, our grandfather’s org chart, academia’s old-time organizational models, or our online org directory with its pretty photos, is simply not enough.
Confusion and dysfunction have been creeping into the modern organization since the introduction of bits, bytes, and photons - things that used to be real, actually had mass, like “In Boxes”, became virtual, and with virtual, they often became invisible, what I call part of the “virtual-invisible” workflow.
Our decades-long progression to virtual-invisible has been gradual and was certainly not accompanied by a mass migration of people out of the office. For the majority of workers, they were still in the office, bumping into one another, passing work off, asking questions, in meetings without technology, having coffee, lunch, and drinks - continuing to do all of the things humans do when they are in physical proximity with each other and working together.
While WFH has created heightened dysfunction awareness, it is not the root - our organizational systems and solutions were already a house of cards built on the shaky table of human proximity.
What happens when WFH becomes the norm and our human proximity table is removed?
Fact is, modern-day organizations have become increasingly complex and stretch the limits of each individuals’ ability to deal with this complexity on a daily basis.
The answers to the two simple old questions: “Who is doing what?” And “What am I doing?”, have become much more complicated.
The correct perspective is to see your confusion and dysfunction problem through the eyes of the employee, the individual contributor, this is where you start, ground up, not top-down.
It does not matter if employees are in a hip electro-connected, or not so hip organization, all engaged employees have the same list of questions that they want answers to. When they do not have the answers, they will blindly make them up on their own, and this is the heart of your confusion and dysfunction.
Consider this list through the eyes of a modern engaged employee and rate your organization using a scale of 1-10 on how clear the answers are, and how well are they constantly communicated? Can each of your employees answer these 14 things?
What is the purpose of my job?
What am I accountable for thinking about
What am I responsible for actually doing
What is the purpose of each role or position I play?
What am I accountable for thinking about,
What am I responsible for actually doing,
|Who do I report to, (this week, quarter, year)?|
|Who is my mentor?|
|Who do I turn to for coaching?|
|What teams am I part of and why?|
|What meetings do I attend and why?|
|What entities (projects, customers, vendors etc.) do I interact with?|
|What departments and workflows do I participate?|
|What processes, procedures, policies do I follow and maintain?|
|What systems do I login to and interface with?|
|What are my objectives, how to they tie to the whole?|
|What are my short-term measurable key results?|
|What skills do I need to do my job and advance?|
We call the above list The 14 Point Checklist and it is the backbone of the Organizational Cognizance® Model and Framework.
How did you score? How would each of your employees score themselves? (see Survey)
In order to remain competitive and be prepared for and take advantage of WFH, organizations must do the heavy lift to engage their people in developing these answers right away.
The cool thing is this, The Answers Are In The Room, your engaged employees know and can help you get to the answers. All you need is a practical, real-world framework; a way to facilitate the work; and a way to capture, document, visualize and keep it updated in your virtual-invisible organization.
Bite the bullet, acknowledge that you are not prepared, start tuning in to the confusion and dysfunction, and when you have had enough when you are ready - read the Book: Death Of The Org Chart, Rise of the Organizational Graph to start on your quest to slay this dragon, removing organizational confusion and dysfunction forever.
Walt Brown is a modern-day, practical, organizational structure and design guy. His peers call him a guru. His real-world solutions come from working directly with Leaders, Managers, and Frontline Employees helping them slay the dragon of Org Dysfunction and Confusion. He is the creator of the Organizational Cognizance® Model, The 14 Point Checklist, and The Organizational Graph. Walt is the architect behind cutting-edge Organizational Graph software. https://ograph.io. He captures all of the above in his book: Death of The Org Chart, Rise of the Organizational Graph. He trains trainers via https://organizationalcognizance.university and guides a team of international coaches who share his passion for slaying the dragon one company and one employee at a time.
*232 - "232" is the nomenclature for describing: Two days at work, Three days home, Two days for the weekend. One can also have 322 or similar.