We have had the tremendous gift of 25 years’ experience working with corporate executives through…
Creating team diversity with greater synergy
Systemic issues organization’s face
We spend a great deal of our time at GoalShaper, thinking about the systemic issues that organization’s face in the push/pull to increase the percentage of women on boards.
It’s easy to see from the outside, that if we had the bravery to change the system to one of innovation and accountability, we might also change the system to one that diverse groups like to work in.
Let us explain
The movement for scientific management began in 1911, with the publication of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’. Taylor effectively invented management as we know it today: improving the efficiency of individual workers, management by exception (only focusing on extremely good or bad results) and task driven work rewarded by task driven bonuses. Modern management is still driven by the idea that a company is a system that must be managed at more than the level of the individual. This ‘system’ changed the course of the twentieth century and much of the prosperity that we now take for granted. However, it also introduced the idea that workers should be treated as automatons and part of the system.
Since then we have of course, evolved through various management revolutions, but still largely hold onto the idea that the system is superior. However, in the twenty first century we face a new set of challenges that simply cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that we relied on in the last century. In other words, at the beginning of last century we were concerned with increasing productivity, but now our ability to produce far exceeds our ability to know what to build or what to do. Our current challenge is overwhelm!
Quite often at Goalshaper, we come across situations where people are putting off making decisions in case they are the wrong decisions or it’s the wrong time. We have the capacity to build and do pretty much anything, but making the decision about whether it should be done, eludes us. This confusion is a symptom of a system that no longer serves us. The beast that we fed in the twentieth century, is about to die and be replaced by a new agile, innovative and people focused movement, which will take us beyond hand-wringing and align us with an ever-faster world.
How is this good for diversity?
We believe that most forms of waste in innovation or waste in human capital is preventable, once the causes are understood. All we need to do is be brave enough to change our collective mind-set away from the paradigm that exhorts workers to try harder. We’ve been trying too hard at the wrong things!
By focusing on efficiency as the end goal we drop the most important predictor of our future success; to learn what we don’t know! Simple measurable methods can help create and build sustainable and diverse organizations. This means taking the focus away from the system and toward individual brilliance.
In an overly rigid system, the business loses site of the adaptability, creativity and wisdom of individual workers. The over emphasis on procedure was relevant for a static world and a victory for routine over creativity, process over humanity and dogma over real learning.
Creating a fairer, more creative, lean movement
The system is prejudiced, and it promotes the superiority of upper class over working class and the superiority of men over women and white over black. In a fairer, more creative, lean movement, where projects are taken out of systems and employees held accountable to the people who matter (customers), we will have more diversity. We will increase the number of women, and other diverse groups, on boards through building sustainable pipelines of people, who are valued for their input and measured against a continual feedback loop. If people couldn’t hide behind legacy systems, we could say goodbye to team dysfunction and hello to team synergy.
If you would like to test your own bias you can take an implicit assumption test developed by Harvard.
Unlock the potential hidden in our workforces
We have no real idea what’s possible if we were to unlock the potential hidden in our workforces. However, it’s likely that they will feel valued and appreciated when there are clear methods for holding teams and individuals accountable for validated learning. Why do we say this? Let’s take women as an example: Our research constantly shows that women leave our organizations’ and fail to fight for capital to grow their businesses, because of the ‘culture’.
The culture is created by the system. So, we advocate creating a system where nobody can hide and everybody is accountable. If people are rigorously measured for their input, you will have a true meritocracy instead of a system that keeps the wrong bums on the wrong seats and a lot of people inside their comfort zones. The new world of organization’s is about the individual; individual customers and individual employees. This is diversity!
If your organisation wants to build more diversity, we have 15 years experience to share helping companies succeed as diverse groups.