Business Starts with Social and Succeeds with Respect

If you are reading this, you are likely human.

Collaboration drives success

No person in the picture is working alone.

Congratulations, I’m human too.

Everyday we all wake up and wonder what the day will bring.  We wonder who we will meet, what conversations we have, and what we will do.

We all want to do things.

In business we have processes, we have bureaucracies, we have rules.

We also have hopes, dreams, and expectations.

I*(Fuel+System)=Value

Each individual in your organization is there to take fuel (hopes, dreams, and expectations) and use the system (processes, bureaucracies,and rules) to create value (stuff people need).

Businesses are made up of people, working together, to achieve profit and success. To realize those expectations, learn lessons, and remain in business.

No company is made up of autonomous, self-organizing units. Successful businesses are, however, often made up of mutually-supportive, self-organizing units.

This extends from the individual to the team to the group to the division to the corporation.

It is a nested social network of value creation.  As anyone who has watched the rise of the Internet can tell you, social networks are powerful drivers of value, change, and action.

At the heart of the social network is the individual. A person who collaborates with another person, persons, or groups. A person who wakes up every day wondering what the day will bring.

 

Your working systems drive your culture which drive the products you build, your time to market, and your relationship with your customer.

Tonianne and I have build our careers on this relationship. Yes, your team is fractured / your organization is low-trust / your work flow has clear but unsolved bottlenecks … why?

Usually because you focus entirely on the work and not the people.

When we work with groups we apply systems thinking which traditionally teaches to look to the system and not the individual for the root cause of problems with behavior or social breakdown. This is almost always exactly the right thing to do. Those edge cases are simply that, edge cases.

But systems thinking cannot ignore that the people who are in the current system have needs and expectations which have or will become dreams deferred. They will or perhaps have become cancerous. These side-effects of historic lack of respect therefore show up as resistance to change, even when that change is clearly positive.

It is clear that the social system of the org and the procedural system are not separate. We need to balance our examination on the processes and the people. Not to blame, but to ensure that the new systems we create understand who is working in them.

Using a variety of proven tools, not the least of which is simply listening, it is possible, perhaps even not-difficult, to get organizations not only working efficiently (easy) but working effectively (much less easy).  An effective organization learns, quickly reacts to changes in the market, and values coming to work.

Over the next two weeks, I will present tools or techniques we use or simply tell some stories depicting how we pragmatically and systemically include the individual in creating an effective organization.

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Jim BensonBusiness Starts with Social and Succeeds with Respect

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