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How would you run this organization?

by on March 5, 2010

Let’s say that you were the CEO of the following unnamed organization with the following problems:

  1. Your management team is reluctant to make tough decisions, and as a result 33% of the assets are in serious trouble.
  2. Your organizational structure is a loosely coupled federation, and is not leveraging its’ size to procure better deals.
  3. Very little transparency, and huge data silos.  Communication is almost entirely vertical, and related teams rarely talk to each other.
  4. Management’s focus in on compliance rather than results.
  5. Has tremendous expenditures on IT, but the organization is seeing very little results.
  6. As a result of the above conditions, there is very little motivation and energy spent on innovation.

The above issues are very real and are facing a current organization.  What would you do as a leader to resolve these issues?  How can information be used as a catalyst to remedy these problems?  What are you learning in our program at the iSchool that prepare you to lead these changes?

I know which organization this is, and in part what is being done.  I will share this information in a post next week.  In the meantime I am looking forward to hearing your perspectives.

-Paul Simons


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One Comment
  1. Sanjeevi Sturges permalink

    I’ll take a naive stab at this.

    I would start by tackling the communication breakdowns between units (to resolve issues 2 and 3). I would communicate to the leadership team that information sharing and working together across divisions is a new priority and will be included in performance evaluations. I would expect the leadership team to communicate this to their teams and support cross-division collaboration and planning. I might also assign a task force to determining how to best measure communication/collaboration and to bring any specific infrastructure or corporate culture-related barriers to my attention.

    Issues 1,4,5 and 6 all seem to be related to a lack of focus on results, so I would try to convert the company to a highly results-focused, metric-centered place. With clear metrics for performance and results established, managers should find it preferable to make a tough decision than to face the poor measurements. In other words, their incentives will be in the right place. This of course hinges on being able to establish clear communication and being able to establish viable metrics.

    I’m interested in knowing the real company and real response in a week.


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