To embellish James’ point (wherein I agree 100% but also disagree)…I think it is a mistake to assume that people are overly homogeneous.

If you look at something like Frederic Laloux’s “Reinventing Organizations” (or even Norbert Elias’s “The Civilizing Process”) I think there’s a strong case to be made that different ways of being & working evolve over time and not everyone is on the “cutting edge”.

This has become especially clear to me working in Vietnam where the average company (and how it treats its employees and organises work) makes even the worst US & Australian places look enlightened paradises by comparison. (For example, as a developer, you probably don’t have to use a fingerprint scanner every day to clock-in and clock-out of work, with pay deducted if you are more than 5 minutes late in the morning.)

In Laloux’s phraseology, not everyone is ready or able to work in a Teal organisation; not everyone wants to be on a self-organising team where not only do they have to do the work but have to always be thinking about the process of how they do the work.

One of the challenges of the much despised management is to figure out what do in those situations. Is it an education gap? A lack of context? Wrong incentives? What do you do if someone isn’t interested in self-organising because all of their spare thoughts & energy are spent caring for a partner slowly dying of cancer? Can you help those people or those teams grow? What interim measures do you need to put in place while that growth is happening? How do you even make them want to change in the first place?

That said, I think that starting with your suggestion as the default and adapting from there makes more sense than starting with a default of no trust & heavy process.

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Learn how to enjoy early retirement in Vietnam. With charts and graphs.

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