News, Thoughts, and Ideas!

Organizations Being More of Who They Are

Sometime ago I read that people who win the lottery do not change they just become more of who they were in the first place. In other words, money just brings out the best or worst qualities.

As I have observed recent decision-making in organizations, I have come to believe the same is true of organizations. I also believe that the same phenomena occurs in the extreme times – burgeoning economic times and lean times.

Examples:

1. A company chooses to keep people in jobs even when the company is marginally profitable or breaking even. The message is, “We, as a company, value people over short-term profits. We don’t want to add to the problems.”

2. A company chooses to reduce the workforce when don’t really need to from a financial viewpoint. The message they are emitting is, “We, as a compnay, wer not willing to tell someone they were a sub-par performer so we use the economic environment as an excuse to get rid of marginal performers.”

3. The first company in good times, typically makes the right, carefully thought out decisions, considering people’s needs as an important factor in the decision-making process.

4. The second company in good times, may make self-serving, rash decisions and is not as concerned with others’ needs.

What can we as organizational leaders learn from these observations? We need to:

  • Examine our values as leaders and as organizations and ensure decision-making matches these values.
  • Be transparent in our decision-making and communication. If we are not, trust will deteriorate and trust is difficult to rebuild.
  • Be open and honest about where the organization stands. If difficult decisions need to be made, the employees should not be surprised.
  • Ask for input, gather facts, and compare notes with other respected leaders prior to making decisions of import.

Think about who you are; think about who you are as an organization. Ensure it doesn’t change based on the economic changes – up and down.

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