Jan 28, 2010

Changing the Business Game



Nilofer Merchant asks: Can we Change the Game of Business? She suggests we all need to change to change the way business is conducted.

She suggests:

  1. Stop wanting praise.
  2. Stop focusing on Titles, Shmitles.
  3. Remember, be good humans.
  4. Shooting the conflict avoiders.
  5. Discussing/Owning Failure.
  6. Killing Power-games.

As much as I agree and identify with Nilofer in her mission to change business into collaborative and open discussions, there are other things that need to change apart from just people and their behavior. People are the most difficult to change - if they don't see how they and the larger organization are going to benefit from the change.

Organizational culture - the evanescent thing that shapes our behavior is driven not just by people's behaviors - but is shaped by non-human things like Organizational Structure, Processes (like reward and growth processes), Information processes and Access systems. Even external benchmarks like the structure of the industry, customer expectations impact how people behave in organizations.

So Nilofer's post is a starting point - but the real key to sustaining the change is changing the systems, structures and processes that mould people's behaviors.

What do you think?