Schlagwort-Archive: Rules

Agility does not tolerate a bonsai style

Bonsai is the art of influencing the growth of trees in such a way that the trees have a beautiful growth habit through artistic designing, but kept small in pots by regular cuts. The result is a large variety of original, apparently wild trees. In nature these trees would grow into the sky. A similar approach has evolved within enterprises. Bonsai style is the art of keeping employees small. This micro management affects the employee activities, like the scissors on the growth of trees. Agility that depends on pro-activity, initiative and flexibility of the people, cannot tolerate bonsai style.

What defines the bonsai style that undermines agility?

  • More criticism than praise
    Representatives of the bonsai style have the tendency to nip the however small commitment of employees in the bud by caviling incessantly. It makes no difference, whether the objections are justified or not. The whole is intensified by the absence of praise. In an agile world such leader could not take a stand, since nobody would follow them.
  • Devalue results with formalities
    The agile employees are driven people of their own aspiration. The attention is limited to the resolution. This leads to the fact that aspects that do not have much to do with the solution are faded out as of minor importance. Does the tie fit? Did you use the official forms? Is the Font correct? The result consists of eighty-percent problem solution. The bad evaluation of the formalities completely misses the goal and tramples all over the tender seedling of the employee commitment.
  • Consistently pulling the superior joker
    After many years of the development, the learning organization, the employee participation, and the teambuilding with their standards, evaluations and decisions from above, the power structures are still in place. Now those, who came to their limits, expect a debureaucratization and the utilization of the inherent employee energy of wanting to create something. However, if no one comes forward voluntarily, the volunteers are determined. If nobody delivers what the superiors expect, the employees get their result adapted by micro management. For safeguarding the business, the hierarchical structures are kept besides the agile ones.
  • Disparaged in the plenum
    A very effective approach, in order to keep the employees small, are offending comments in the public. Devaluing remarks on the personal work style, on small mistakes in the argumentation or on the editing, guarantee that the employees lose their face. The anticipatory commitment of the agile employee is then no longer probable.
  • Micro management
    The always not available, but obsessed with details 24/7 micro managers are actually their best agile employees. Their commitment always is at maximum. They worry about everything and they are decisive. Unfortunately they don’t have the time to consider, because they have incessantly tasks, which they obviously have to worry about. Since everything excites their attention, they cannot manage to get used to the work and contribute thereby nothing. Understandably, they cannot accomplish their actual function. Micro management is one of the largest hurdles on the way to the agility.
  • Missing covering
    The attitude to correct at any time each detail at discretion leads to the fact that the employees are quickly alone without covering, exposed to the problem in case of crisis. In order to be able to act agilely, they need however the trust from above that their actions always take place in the interest of the larger whole. Where a lot of things happen, there happen also many errors. Error tolerance is an approach, to provide good covering. In the context of agility a remaining leadership task is the boundless support and employee shielding, when they process the topics self-organized.
  • Rule one and two

Apart from the micro management the largest agility killers are the rules of power. Rule 1: The boss is always right. Rule 2: If he is not right, then automatically rule 1 is valid. Thereby the budding initiative has no chance to prove itself on a long-term basis and to develop an effective solution.

Bottom line: As long as the old approaches for the company design remain unchanged, like the hierarchical structure, the chain of command, or the superior joker, the associated disadvantages also remain. The generous authorization of the employees with sufficient resources, powers and support is crucial for exhausting the advantages of agile approaches. Bonsai style prevents thereby the desired effects since an employee initiative nipped in the bud cannot flourish.

What remains for most of us?

A gate agent of an US airline recently denied boarding to passengers for improper clothing (leggings). The Paris Opera expelled a Muslim woman from the hall due to her niqab. In Mallorca it is forbidden to walk in bath clothes through the city. The so to speak public areas are more and more limited and regulated. When do we start regulating buying in the supermarket, going by bus, visiting the cinema and all the other profane things of everyday life, with an order that extensively limits the individual rights and privacy? What remains for most of us?

The whole thing is intensified by the fact that less and less areas are common property that you can use at will. The desired behavior in these areas, like buildings, roads, parks, forests, and places, is regulated by private or governmental bodies. With the increasing provision of generally accessible places by businesses and the retreat of public areas, the free spaces are narrowed, where the general public can fulfill itself – sometimes free of charge and sometimes with an entrance fee.

All these places are subject to different regulations. The green may not be entered. On public streets are less and less parking lots. This leads to the fact that on one airline you may not fly with leggings and in the other one you may; you may enjoy a performance veiled in one opera hall and in the other not; you may enter one building with a dog and the other one only without; you may be under video surveillance in one road, without knowing, what they do with the images and in the other one you may not; you may spend the night in one park and in the other one not;  you are not allowed to mountain-biking in one forest and in the other one you may.

In the US some companies drain the water reservoirs of communities for a small fee. Afterwards, they sell the water filled in bottles for a lot of money to customers – also to the residents of the communities, who got in the meantime water problems. The remaining common properties, like air, streets and education, will become administered on a trust basis and likewise chargeable – for each breath.

The regulation of the everyday life is progressing continuously. The consequences are already visible, although deterring futures were already extensively depicted in literature and in movies.

  • The big brother is watching you in 1984 by George Orwell – nowadays also during Internet usage (more here).
  • The prohibition to read books in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – nobody knows, which filters are already restricting the access to certain information.
  • The consequences of the virtualization in Matrix by the Wachowski brothers – it is worthwhile to look into the near future with Ray Kurzweil (Transcendent one).
  • The assisted suicide in Soylent Green by Harry Harrison – so far only the multi-media attractions are missing.
  • The preventive pursuit of future perpetrators in Minority report of Philip K. Dick – for the time being potential suicide bombers get already electronic tags before the first criminal act, in order to prevent that they blow themselves up.

In extreme cases you can only live your personal style in the context of certain rules. The related convictions will limit the variety and colorfulness of the world. Do we really want this?

Bottom line: Since more and more examples arise frequently that mean restrictions for the majority of the population, the time has come to observe these trends. The community gets more and more limited. Everywhere evolve regulated zones. At the same time other cultures are pointed at and their local rules are stigmatized as unfree. The question that arises is what remains, if we get in the so to speak public areas more and more rules imposed. Which dress-code is valid for the evening walk or shopping? When do individuals make money with common goods like fresh air, good streets or education? And what is the cost of using it? What remains for most of us?
Obedience?