Monday, October 16, 2006

Albrecht: 3 things leading to organizational intelligence (6)

Question: If an organization could do just three things to channel individual and team potential into organizational intelligence what would you recommend?

Karl Albrecht: "The best way is for the senior leaders of the organization to start thinking and talking about their enterprise as a potentially intelligent operation, and to undertake a never-ending assessment of its possibilities for advancement. There should be an ongoing conversation around the simple question: "How can we operate more intelligently?"

The second step is to start giving people the authority to think. When even the lowliest worker believes that his or her ideas, experiences, insights, and suggestions will be listened to and appreciated, we begin to liberate more of the tremendous brainpower that we've already hired - and that we're already paying for every payday.

The third step is a systematic, relentless, and never-ending attack on the causes of collective stupidity: organizational structures that don't make sense; "silos" that have grown up between departments or factions; policies, rules, and procedures that thwart the value-creation process; incompetent, ineffective, or failing managers; turf wars between managers and departments; union-management conflict; caste systems that have grown up in the organization; top-management behaviors that confuse, divide, or demotivate people; unfair or unjust
treatment of employees that destroys morale and the sense of shared fate; and, sometimes, even the lack of a clearly defined vision and mission.

The most intelligent organizations operate on the principle that 'good is never good enough'."