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  • Olivier S.E. Courtois

Is Your Organization A Warzone?

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Any organization is a system composed of different pieces that are supposed to go in the same direction, but the reality is often more complex. The 'owners' (shareholders, authorities, members) set a strategic direction. They hire the 'strategic top' expected to define a strategy in line with the required direction. Line or functional 'managers' run their own area. By definition, they consider their area as unique and aspire to get as much freedom as possible. Employees and workers belong to the 'normal' category usually complying with the plan or to the 'experts' category, who are aware of their value and want full autonomy. The 'support' functions (e.g.: logistics) know they could be outsourced and generally follow the plan willingly. Finally, the 'technostructure', is empowered by the 'strategic top' to standardize processes. It operates across the organization and is by essence seen as the 'enemy' by managers and experts as it infringes on their autonomy. Obviously, this is a simplistic sketch. Yet, my experience is that it helps the different actors of an organization to visualize where they fit, to better appreciate and accept the role of their colleagues. In this respect, leaders have a role to play in reconciling the 'enemies'. #leadership

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