Today I was trying to explain why organisations sometimes almost compell their managers to do stupid things – or certainly why it might appear that way to people further down the chain.

1. The glance analysis – the solution to someone else’s problem can often seem obvious. That can be due to the person not seeing the wood for the trees – but also can be from not really taking the time to understand local conditions before passing judgement.

I once had to endure a conversation from a person from Melbourne (nothing against people from Melbourne, on the whole I have found them very nice…). He was seeking to make some changes to the way an industry association operated in WA – and make a takeover bid for all the other related organisations in WA – and run it all from 3000 miles away. He then also proceeded to tell us how little we knew about how to run such an organisation. It was one of the first dinners I’ve been to where 4 or 5 normally mild mannered people were ready to belt someone they have never met before.

2. The flick pass – email management (or mis-management) can allow for easy flick pass of a task (generally with a comment attached adding to the workload). People in management roles are often so time poor that the constant barrage of email encourages sending an email onto someone else rather than stopping the email and really thinking about whether the task should be done. Whilst it may not win you friends, sometimes it is worth asking the question of the sender, “If I simply couldn’t get to this due to other commitments, what would be the downside?”. Or send them a quote for an hour of your time….

3 Conflicting goals – ever wondered what is the real goal the firm is interested in? Generally there is a terrible conflict between organisation goals eg. growth versus profit now…

So, what do you think? Add a comment below about some of the dumb things you have seen organisations do to their people (or their customers…)

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