At times, our consulting practice is faced with a conundrum: the evolution of certain technologies and practices for enhanced information exploitation suggest changing business operations in a way that might reduce, or even eliminate, some participants' roles. In other words, implementing technical changes to benefit the organization simultaneously have a determinental impact on individuals within the organization.
In terms of self-preservation, it is not in the best interests of these individuals to support new technical initiatives that might result in their own termination. Yet in order to do their job the right way, they are obliged to do what is right for the organization, right? This situation resembles the game theory concept of a zero-sum game, in which moves that benefit one player equally have a negative impact on another player.
The challenge, then, is to determine how to socialize the evolution of the program in a way that demonstrates mitigation for any individual impacts or displacements. For example, when suggesting an action whose side effects include the elimination of a specific person's role, seek ways to evolve that person's responsibilities to support the change process and long term maintenance of the technical evolution. Doing so will finesse the "zero-sum" situation and will provide new challenges for both staff training and organizational improvement.
Posted September 26, 2006 11:21 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |