I’ve been in this industry for a long time. In my experience, there are many organizational styles out there. After an interesting conversation with my friend @Daverdfw, over twitter the other day, I thought that I’d write regarding my opinions therein. Following is a list of a few types:
1) This is the way we’ve always done it, and it’s worked for us well, so why change?
2) We don’t know any better, because we’re inexperienced in management
3) The scattershot approach wherein management will turn it’s approach on a dime
4) Considered, but thoughtful, in which there are new ways to approach issues, and with due concern, changes are made
In the first scenario, an organization may be aware of other approaches, but because they’ve become so entrenched in “How” they’ve done things all along they’re almost afraid to make changes. There are so many examples of this old-school approach. It could be that their tech is in place, and they refuse to consider disruption in their data center. It could relate to how/whom they hire. If they’re become used to hiring in one way, or for that matter, evaluating their employees in the same way, each by the same metrics, and thereby disregarding the individual contributions or characteristics of new employee styles.
In a second, which is prevalent under the models of so many startups. We see this quite often in the world of storage and virtualization in which I reside, wherein the management is so new to the game, likely thinking that they could “Do it better” in their previous work experiences, that they are unwilling to truly integrate the willingness to question their skills. The danger here is that again, the change that’s required is not being made, simply because the management is unable to see that they’ve got to. They don’t know nor would they be willing to consider a different approach, as they’ve got an inability to grasp different viewpoints.
The third example is endemic to startups, and can be an enormous problem. In this case, a company will try something, will give it an idea a chance, but not give it an opportunity to prove the value of the plan before making yet another change. In this way, so many plans fail. Even a bad plan needs a chance to establish itself. These can be marketing, hiring, and technological plans, as well as practically any other goal. How does the engineering department plan on implementing the correct approach, when they find no ability to rely on any specific direction? Clearly, scattershot approaches can wreak havoc in any company.
The last one I illustrated is one in which a considered decision, weight placed on all sides, careful thought, without haste is placed into decision-making. It’s good to give your plans time to gel, and to try to determine their capacity for success before making changes. By the simple evaluation of goals and deliberate motivation, an organization may keep their customer’s needs in mind, their engineering staff on task, and their employees from guessing what they’re going to have to count on next.
As I’ve said in this blog previously, communication is key to the continued success of a company. If a management team is unafraid to hear conflicting viewpoints, and to hear all sides, changes in course can be managed and overall goals will be kept in target sights even while being dynamic and embracing the changes that need to be made throughout the organization and disruption can be both embraced and fears can be mitigated.