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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Organisation Schizophrenia

It is not true that only people suffer psychological disorders. Organisations suffer them too. Particularly 'Schizophrenia'...for convenience of general understanding - multiple personality disorder. This leave the people associated with the Co ( employees, clients, customers, suppliers etc) totally perplexed, bewildered and confusticated. All in a state of neurosis...often disarrayed and perplexed, not knowing how to react as they get confusing signals.

Organisations make bold broadcasts of their Vision statements. Back them up with Values and Leadership Traits which they kind of indicate tacitly and at times even expressly that they expect their people co-ordinates to reflect.

Unfortunately, that is where it ends. They fail big time because they do not take the drill further than broadcasting. Fancy frames are made of these desirable pronouncements and left hanging on prominent walls of the organisation. 'Abra-cadabra'....they believe nature will do the rest to make their desirable pronouncements into reality. They just can't be further from truth than that.

As a consequence, people within the organisation perceive multiple behavioural signals. The bold pronouncements indicate different behaviours thus causing a series of behavioural expectations from its people. However, on the other hand, when people transact and come into direct touch with the organisational processes and the people who deal with them, to their utter dismay, they experience not only totally different behaviours but at times totally contrarian behaviours. As if they were dealing with multiple different people in the same organisation !!! This makes them feel as if they were tranacting with a person suffereing from 'Schizophrenia'.

Why does that happen...??? Many reasons I can see.

- Most of all , a wrong understanding of what Vision is about. Organisational Ownership/Leadership tends to believe that it is a bold (at times poetic sounding statement) , associated as a pronouncement of the founder, owner, Chairman or the CEO. They are supposed to plaster it on prominent walls and print it on office stationary and as mandatory first-slide in all corporate presentations. They fail because they miss the point. Unless the team below is involved in crafting the Vision statement, it is not their Vision statement. It is the leaders statement thrust upon them.

- They fail to build a Vision Community...they do nothing to align the rest of the people and the eco-system with these bold prescriptions. Thus the people see it as a nice frame and think of it like a nice catch phrase or quotation from a great be read but not necessarily to be acted upon !

- They fail to test and then modify their existing processes, systems and programs through the filters of their Vision Statements and these broadcasted values and nurtured traits. They do not alter the breathing life-cycle systems and processes to reflect the new vision and values. So whilst people keep mouthing these VTVs (Vision , Traits & Values), the processes continues its life with the existing patterns which may not necessarily reflect the same.

- They fail to modify their Performance Management systems. Unless significant modifications are made here to measure the new achievements based on new VTVs, change behaviours will not come forth.

- They fail to alter their Rewards & Recognition methods. The nurtured new Traits to be endeared by the people and leaders, unless the R&R system is modified, may keep actually rewarding the old traits and behaviours, not necessarily the new ones. They reward the same behaviours they want to change.Thus the existing rewarded behaviours get repeated at the cost of 'broadcasted desirable behaviours' getting a clear systemic set-back

- They fail to develop leaders thru programs that modify and refine their non-conforming behaviours. Transformational behaviours need serious appreciative coaching if they need to be sustained. This the organisation does not invest in. Thus senior leadership mirrors the desirable behaviours for a while (during the initial honey-moon period) with the new VTVs and revert to their natural patterns of behaviour soon thereafter without consequences.

You cannot let your 'vision-value-traits' run its the first few years like a child, they need hand-holding, nurturing and support from the eco-system. It is only when it becomes part of the natural rhythm of the system that it becomes the character of the enterprise.

If organisations do not do that...which most of them don't, they become schizophrenic and spreading neurosis within the system.

You might as well have not made the Vision statement...

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