Saturday, September 09, 2006

Leading from the middle

It seems that many of my friends and close associates have corporate jobs, and that even the seemingly most enlightened organizations, despite their best efforts, maintain the chasm between management thinking and personnel who execute the projects.

Let's be honest: No matter where you are in an organizational structure, at some point one or more of these theories has crossed your mind. C'mon, you know it's true.

Over 25 years, having spent a grand total of 9 months working in a major corporation, these are the theories that I was reminded of:
Given a fixed amount of resources, no two projects can occupy the same space/time continuum and be successfully delivered on time.
Personnel shortages, constantly changing objectives, scope creep and lack of focus contribute to this one. Those with the ideas need to be talking with those who execute. I think that's how Chrysler turned it around at one point.
The best work is done is spite of management.
An individual's personal desire to excel and succeed will outlast the policies and procedures that often are in place, and that seem to hinder progress and improvement.
It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
Sometimes, you just have to get it done. And when you do get it done, sometimes you'll get called on the carpet for doing so. Beg for mercy, then point out how it will benefit the project or company. If you were right, resist the urge to say "I told you so." Thank you, Grace Hopper.

Disclaimer: Theories offered "as is." Use at your own risk. The use of protective eyewear, gloves and hazmats suits are highly recommended when appropriate. Do not point these sharp observations at your eyes. Your experience may differ, please use these theories with caution and discernment. Design Matters accepts no responsibility for any consequential actions associated with the implementation, repetition and or dissemination of these theories.

No comments: