THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE WECHAT PUBLIC ACCOUNT “CHIEF ORGANIZATION OFFICER” (ID: COO-STRATEGY), AUTHOR: FAN LI.
Organizational problems can hinder the development of a business. How to solve key organizational problems and build a good organization is the focus of enterprises.
We often find situations where leaders confidently “define key organizational problems” and think they can solve them with a few rolls up their sleeves. But with all the effort, the organizational problem is still there.
This inevitably makes the leaders very depressed, blaming HR for not doing things effectively, and such a simple problem cannot be solved. HR feels that this pot is wronged, the boss is tossing blindly, a hammer in the east and a mallet in the west, everyone is exhausted, but it does not play any role, and even makes the organization more and more chaotic.
Why is this the case?
The organization itself is a dynamic and complex social system, and organizational problems are embedded in the complex system, and are affected and constrained by the internal structure of the system. To truly solve organizational problems, you need to stop complaining and blaming each other and realize that the system behind the organization is responsible for the problem.
If you lack a systematic perspective on organizational problems, just trying to make efforts, it is easy to fall into the trap of various systems, resulting in problems that are difficult to solve. It’s like a hamster in a cage desperately pedaling on the cage, thinking that if it runs fast enough, it can escape.
But if you don’t think in terms of a cage, the hamster’s efforts are just in vain. What are the specific pitfalls of organizational construction without a systematic perspective?
Trap No. 1: Mistaking “phenomenon” for “problem”
It is often heard that “our organizational problem is the lack of people”, is this true?
One of the characteristics of the system is recessive.
It is like a black box, we cannot directly observe the whole of the system, we can only observe the phenomenon presented by the system, but it is difficult to directly observe the reasons behind the occurrence of the phenomenon. Therefore, it is easy for us to be confused by these phenomena and mistake “phenomena” for “problems”. The more obsessed we are with solving these phenomena, the more we can only treat the symptoms but not the root causes. Just like fever is easy to observe, but it is only a phenomenon caused by diseases in the human system, if only take fever-reducing drugs, cure the fever, but do not cure the disease.
As mentioned earlier, “our organizational problem is the lack of people”, the lack of personnel as a key organizational problem, the solution is of course very direct, recruiting. If it’s a single key job opening, hiring really solves the problem. But if the company is always in a state of shortage of people, for example, it always seems that it cannot recruit the right people, or the recruited people always cannot stay, and eventually falls into the quagmire of more and more recruitment. We need to reflect on whether the “lack of people” is a fundamental problem or a phenomenon?
If “lack of people” is a phenomenon, what is the fundamental problem behind the refraction?
Different organizations have different root causes of problems, which require in-depth analysis specific to the actual organizational system, and it is difficult to generalize. Here are just a few common fundamental problems behind the “frequent shortage of people”.
For example, the fundamental problem may be that enterprises lack the ability to cultivate talents, resulting in excessive dependence on external talent supply, and once the external talent market is in short supply, enterprises will fall into the quagmire of shortage of personnel; The solution is not only to “recruit” people, but also to establish internal talent training capabilities.
For another example, the fundamental problem may be the lack of soil to help external executives adapt, making it difficult for external executives to survive; The direction of the solution is to establish an “executive integration” system.
For another example, the fundamental problem may be the chaos of core business processes, resulting in higher and higher requirements for people; The solution lies in sorting out and reengineering the core business processes and reducing the requirements for people.
Einstein said, “If you give me an hour to solve a problem, I will spend 55 minutes figuring out what the problem really is, and the remaining 5 minutes to solve it”.
Wise leaders, before rolling up their sleeves, can ask themselves a few more times, is this a “problem” or a “phenomenon”?
Trap 2: Mistakenly thinking that “mission accomplished, battle won”
An enterprise has developed rapidly in recent years, and the shortage of managerial talents has become more and more prominent. The wise leadership decided to change the past recruitment of experienced but limited potential people, and to recruit 985 and 211 college graduates as reserve cadre training. The recruitment task was successfully completed in the early stage, and soon the problem came:
The college students recruited quickly ran out;
The managers who led the people complained that the college students were “not good to use” and did not want to use it anymore;
Universities refuse to provide high-quality students again because graduates have poor feedback on companies.
Eventually, college student recruitment was forced to stop. Why is it that the recruitment task of college students is done beautifully, but the recruitment reform ultimately fails?
The second characteristic of the system is coupling.
That is, the various elements in the system are related to each other, affect each other, and the way they affect is dynamic.
In change, even if a critical task is done beautifully, if other related subsystems are not aligned with their goals, there will be huge resistance to change, which will eventually lead to the failure of change.
In this case of recruitment change, the company only focused on the completion of the recruitment task, and the related multiple organizational systems were not adjusted accordingly.
For example, the company’s original newcomer training and integration system is mainly aimed at experienced people, and inexperienced college students have higher requirements for newcomer training and integration, and the original system is obviously difficult to apply.
For example, the original performance management system emphasized that managers should achieve performance, but did not reflect the requirements for personal development. Under the influence of such a system, business managers will naturally urge subordinates to achieve performance as the main goal, who is willing to spend time coaching and developing individuals. Inexperienced college students, it is difficult to produce results without guidance in the early stage, of course, “not easy to use”. There are also many related systems such as salary system, promotion system, talent echelon system, etc., which will affect the success or failure of the recruitment system.
In order to truly succeed in recruiting college students, it is clear that you cannot only consider recruitment. The system function that this change hopes to achieve is to provide enterprises with potential reserve cadres and solve the shortage of managerial talents. The recruitment task of college graduates is only the entry point of change, balance the different characteristics of college students and existing employees, adjust other relevant organizational systems, to ensure the survival and growth of talents, in order to finally solve the problem of shortage of enterprise management talents.
It can be seen that in organizational construction, you can start with a key task, but you can’t just stop there. It is necessary for the person in charge of the system to design the system from the point and surface from the result of realizing the function of the system, and to achieve victory in the battle through the coordinated operation of related systems.
Trap 3: Contempt for “doing dirty work.”
The leader of an enterprise personally designed a very complete “quality ability model” and new talent selection and retention standards for the organization. A grand “quality ability conference” was also held, requiring employees to implement the standard.
However, for a long time, these standards remained on paper and did not become the common language of the organization. The leader was depressed:
It is clear that the new standard is perfectly designed, why don’t you use it?
The third characteristic of the system is resilience.
Toughness means that once a system is formed, it will maintain its own operating laws, and even if external forces affect it, it will quickly return to its original state.
To change the system, it takes a long-term effort to overcome resilience.
Imagine that in the process of “promoting quality ability”, enterprises know that these standards only need a meeting time, but mastering these standards requires a lot of repeated practice and guidance. The planning, design, and implementation of an organization’s system are equally important.
However, in reality, system planning and design will be considered the most difficult and rewarding, naturally the boss or senior management is personally in charge. The guidance and supervision to ensure the implementation of the system is both repetitive and boring and considered a simple matter, often ignored or even despised by leaders, and has become a dirty job that no one wants to be responsible for.
In the long run, the enterprise naturally shows a love for “sports”, a gust of wind passes, a new “movement” begins, the organization is beaten back to the original state, and the system can not be built.
Building an organization is by no means just a “tall” guide, but also requires the peasant spirit of old cattle ploughing the fields. No matter how beautiful the system design, whether someone can insist on doing the dirty work for a long time is the key to whether the new system can be built.
After talking about it so much, some people may say, what do you want to do so complicated, simple, let’s do it first. The avenue is indeed simple, but it is not simply and crudely “simple”.
With the development and growth of the organization, the organizational system will become more and more complex, and the traps of various “hamster cages” will become more and more, and the simpler and more rude the “headache and foot pain”, the deeper and deeper the trap.
The more systematic you can see, the more you can cross complex surfaces, understand the essence of the organization, and grasp the real key points. The path of this organizational system seems complicated, but in fact it is simple.