Are companies too connected to be effective?
Transcript: Networked Organizations – Too Connected to Be Effective?
Hi I’m Kevan Hall, CEO of Global Integration. We are an ideas, consulting and training company that specialises in people management in complex, matrixed, virtual and global organizations. I would like to share with you some of our ideas on working in these very complex organizations.
Our clients work very hard to create more connected teams and organisations. They use matrix structures, virtual teams, and global projects. They invest heavily in travel, meetings and communications technology.
But there is a cost, even beyond the significant travel and communications budgets – creating more connections automatically causes more complexity. And that can lead to delay, cost and dissatisfaction.
Take a look at this pendulum. If I let it go, you can see the simple and predictable motion it creates.
Now look what happens if I connect a second pendulum to the first. Remember, both of these connections are the same, they are simple pivots. Look what happens to the complexity of the movement this now creates.
All we have done is to connect two simple things together and we have created a very complex effect.
Organizations are the same. When we become more connected, when we make one action dependent on another, the complexity increases rapidly.
An increase in complexity can slow things down, make them more expensive to run and demotivate your people.
So, as organizations become more connected – networked – we also need to look carefully at where these connections really add value and where they just add cost.
We have found there is often too much connection, in complex companies. The symptoms are too many teams, meetings and conference calls and too much irrelevant email and other communication. Our clients tell us they typically spend a day a week on unnecessary meetings and conference calls alone – that is nine years of a typical career.
At Global Integration, we’ve developed ways of making teams and organizations faster, less expensive to run and more satisfying to work in by cutting out unnecessary complexity and connections.