Monday, March 16, 2009

Best Intentions vs Organizational Reality

After reading yesterday's post, I started thinking about why an organization might exhibit such inappropriate behaviors when - and we will give the benefit of the doubt here - all of the people that comprise the organization are bright and well intended individuals. Putting an employees personal goals aside for a moment, this has to do with the complexity of an organization. At the point where an organization becomes sufficiently complex it can, and most likely will, start to exhibit unintended behavior - emergent behavior. When an organization is too large to be comprehended by a single mind - and most are - or when a persons sensors aren't trained to detect these emergent behaviors, and this is often due to improper incentives, then these behaviors fly mostly under the radar, at least until they become so problematic that someone takes notice. (This is not to say that all emergent behavior produces disharmony in the mind, body and soul of an organization, just that it might).

Cheers,

The Business Architect

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