Building a Peripheral Organization

A peripheral organization sees problems from all angles and tackles challenges with optimal decision making. Furthermore, a peripheral organization pushes forward good ideas regardless of their origin. Does your company suffer from management myopia? Management myopia is similar to playing basketball with horse blinders. Playing basketball with horse blinders can be done, but it is highly inefficient. Your management team’s ability to see opportunities and threats with an unbiased perspective is important for your company’s continued success. Fostering a culture that is not afraid to voice innovative ideas or business concerns is a major component of organizational effectiveness. Unfortunately, it is common that businesses fail to capture the power of employed workers for several reasons.  Management myopia stems from groupthink, conflict avoidance, and organizational silos. Change your company from myopic to peripheral by building awareness for the drivers of myopic decision making.  

 Groupthink

Groupthink is the result of a subset of people coming to agreement on a sub-optimal idea just to satisfy the majority of the group. A major contributor to groupthink is uniformity among organizational departments. People with power and authority in an organization have more weight to their opinions. Furthermore, organizational dissent is punished. Diversity of thought is critical component of decision making that is often overlooked. People with different opinions from different backgrounds are needed to obtain different perspectives. Groupthink is easy. It’s easy for people to say yes and agree. We like to follow the path of least resistance. Making diversity of thought a priority for your organization is a great way to avoid groupthink. Moreover, encouraging team members to speak up and take action empowers your employees to support your company. Employees need to feel safe in their environment to share their personal ideas.

Conflict Avoidance

In my perspective, there are two ways to approach conflict avoidance. One way to think about conflict is that conflict avoidance is a good way to keep peace in an organization. By avoiding difficult conversations, the organization can remain stable. On the contrary, conflict avoidance results in pockets of employees who are in disagreement with the way decisions are being made. Furthermore, employees are not fully committed to the work that is being done as a direct result of not being included in the decision making process.

On the other hand, conflict can be considered a necessary evil to endure. In order for a project, idea, or campaign to be successful; buy-in from all parties involved is needed. Everyone in the organization needs to be on the same page focusing on the same goals. However, it is tough for people to manage the stress of conflict even if the result is positive. Encouraging constructive conflict is a good way to avoid management myopia.

Organizational Silos

The bane of any organization is departments with different agendas. All departments in an organization should be working together towards the common goals of the greater organization. The reality is that organizational silos exist. As a result, managers do what they think is best for their team and themselves at the expense of the corporation. We all can agree that working together is more productive than working against each other. However, in an organization different levels of management seek more control and authority to gain power and in turn benefit personally. Breaking down silos is one way to avoid management myopia. Does your corporation suffer from management myopia? Need help building a peripheral organization? Contact DJR Jeeves Consulting for a review of your organization’s structure and effectiveness.

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