11 March 2009

WHY this blog - as well as the what...

I woke up this morning wondering if any readers of this blog (hallo!) wonder
why I created this blog. I hope I have made it clear what this blog is about - but perhaps not the why...

I guess it is because I am generally fed up with the focus on big initiatives and massive reengineering projects and wholescale restructuring as being the answers to better results. Instead I take the view that within almost all organisations are people with ideas for improvement urgently wanting to be heard. 

But it seems that these organisations would rather hire expensive consultants / programme managers / high flying executives to come in and do improvement to the organisation. The implicit beliefs underlying this are that we need people from outside (or at the most senior echelon) to have all the big ideas.

It seems to me that the most important ingredient in success for any organisation - large or small - is motivation. This is not just the motivation to turn up, or indeed the motivation to do good professional job. The kind of motivation I am talking about is the desire to think - how can we do this better, how can we deliver even more to those we serve, what do I and my colleagues have to do to achieve even more than yesterday? This requires raw unstoppable energy.

If organisations focus on bringing in outside experts, or appointing new and expensive senior managers - I think this kind of motivation is neutralised or at the very least it is not nurtured. At the worst - people are turned off and will maybe even seek to sabotage the organisation or harm it in some way.

I know I am not alone in thinking this - but maybe I and my fellow conspirators against the 'bring in the expensive experts' approach to organisational development can be accused of being naive. Obviously I don't think so - but this is probably the crux of the matter. I declare I have an optimistic view of people. I think most people, given the right conditions, default to be being creative, clever, enthusiastic and committed. But given the wrong conditions, all of us can become cynical, demotivated, dull and tedious.

And so this is why I wanted to create this blog (although occasionally I will insert the odd reflection such as the procurement rant below, to add some of my spice!)

I wanted a blog that would celebrate the small ideas - the small ideas (that can easily become the big ideas too) that come from the ordinary people in organisations - the people whose voices and ideas deserve and demand to be heard. I want this blog to be part of the effort to help make this happen - because I believe it is good for business and good for people.

And I am interested in what leaders in these organisations (where these ideas bubble forth like a mountain brook), what these leaders are doing to create the right context. This for me is critical. Simply exhorting organisations to do more to unleash the small ideas with big results is not enough. I want to hear about what leaders are doing to make this happen.

In this way I hope that other leaders will learn and add to their own practice.

And everyone wins.

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