Organizational Change in the New Year, Asking Jeeves.

Posted by jlubans on December 29, 2010

A few days ago we welcomed a new year, and its accompanying chorus of resolutions. Lest we be left resolution-less, here are some direct from the pages of Leading from the Middle.

In Chapter 1, “Balaam’s Ass”, I made reference to the softheaded, kind-hearted Bertie Wooster and to his manservant, Jeeves (he of the eyes “agleam with the light of pure intelligence” and size nine-and-a-quarter hat).
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Doing so, I wondered out loud about changing the library:
“What would the all-knowing and demonstrably most effective of effective followers, Jeeves, tell us about moving an organization from reactive to proactive?”

Hearing his name, Jeeves shimmered in.
“Indeed, I am pleased to oblige, sir. Permit me to suggest seven stratagems.”
1. For new hires, stress credentials less, spirit and independent thinking more.
2. Increase integrated decision-making, decrease top-down decisions.
3. Flatten the administration, spread out administrative responsibility.
4. If they are worthy, make clear your organizational values.
5. Experiment more, spend less time in committees contemplating what might go wrong.
6. Use self-managing teams or other constructs that require critical thinking and decision making by followers.
7. Increase staff development budgets to train everyone in soft and hard skills.

“You are a marvel, Jeeves!”
“I endevour to give satisfaction, sir.” And, he trickled off.

Happy 2011

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