“I think I should just be a ‘B’ player in my organization. Jack tried to make a difference and was fired” announced Jane across the dinner table.
I was shocked!
Shocked because I was visiting friends and family over the holiday break and had visited with Jane after a long time. In all these years that I had known her, she had grown from being a software developer to a program manager and then to heading an entire division at a large multi-national organization. She did all this and got a masters along with having a successful family life. She is someone that you would love to have your organization as a leader.
Over dinner she was explaining how her matrix organization structure while meant to remove red tape and hegemony was in fact, punishing people that take initiatives and bend the rigid rules of the organization for the good of the organization and the customer.
I couldn’t resist and asked “Give me an example.”
“Jack was a energetic and enthusiastic peer of mine. He had been with the company for over 10 years. He need to hire three people to complete a project for a customer. He had over 200 people reporting into him and had the authority to hire and fire people in his team. In hiring these people he did not adhere to a corporate ‘hiring freeze’ rule that came from the HQ. I know for a fact, that he did ask all his peer if they had people in-house with the required skills set before hiring these people. HQ is in a different country and would not understand the realities of what happens here. Long story short, he somehow got the customer project successfully launched because of the skilled people that he hired on time, but was fired a month later because this was a repeat offense of hiring people when there was a corporate mandate not to hire new people!”
On the drive back home I got to thinking. Was Jack wrong in hiring people against the corporate rule to get a client successful? Or was the corporate wrong in having a hiring freeze when they were facing tough financial times?
Really both of them are right in their way.
Then why did Jack get fired, when everyone knows that getting empowered people like Jack fired has a ripple effect of making people like Jane adhere to company rules and throw up their arms on customer issues?
We have all seen well intended but misguided attempts at organization structure and rules that have failed companies. This is really NO way to run companies in this day and age.
You ask me, “Harsha, what other options do we have other than matrix or hierarchical organization structure?”
Thankfully there is a new system of operating companies. It is patent pending method called ‘Social Business Gaming Enterprise‘. This organization tool enables companies to operate as a Matrix or a Hierarchy at the management and planning levels but at an execution level operates as a social networking business game that enables empowered employees to create and adhere to local rules, and yet benefit the organization goals at a management level.
With a tool like this you will not have a Jane get disgruntled with the organization structure and yet successfully deliver to the customer promise. In the end, an organization is built to serve the customer. What is the point in having an organization structure that discourages employees from doing the right things for the customer.
This tool built and patented by Vantage Agora is called ‘OX Zion‘, and enables organizations to engage employees through the social business gaming organization structure. Using the tool we have successfully solved the problem discussed in this article both inside and outside Vantage Agora.
If you want to know more about running your organization as a social network or about ‘ox zion“ox zion‘ please feel free to contact any one of us at VA.
About Vantage Agora
Vantage Agora (VA) is a global provider of back-office solutions, custom IT services and consulting services for companies in the insurance, finance, and healthcare sectors. As a SSAE 16 Type II audited company, Vantage Agora utilizes advanced data processing and quality control systems on a secured network to ensure efficient, comprehensive management of back-office for the insurance and finance sectors. Along with that OX ZION has helped several companies improve their operational efficiency of their organizations. Founded in 2004, Vantage Agora has offices in Cleveland and Dallas.