Schlagwort-Archive: Convictions

The human being – the ideal metaphor for organizations

Anthropomorphic assignments always happen, when we deal with things as if they were enlivened – the dialogues with the computer, the jollied pat on the steering wheel or the encouragement to the water pump that is supposed to pump the cellar to clean for one more time. It seems that we are seeing in things a submissive spirit at our service. Let us remember Goethe’s sorcerer’s apprentice “Lord the need is great! The ones that I called, I now cannot get rid of the spirits”. However, the spirit is not only assigned to material things, but also to disembodied organizations of all kinds – the state, the government, the political party, the enterprise, the market, as well as social communities and fringe groups.

Obviously, this has proved to be the case, as blame is being laid on such groups everywhere: Facebook spies on us; the right-wings endanger the state; Amazon exploits the employees, and so on. Nobody mentions the responsible persons. What causes this view on organizations?

  • The tangibility of entrepreneurial personality
    Personification begins when the attributes of a role are assigned to a company. This includes the tasks of the company, which are not limited to the provision of services, but also include social functions, such as supporting the health of employees and events of all kinds. The impression of the AKV is not only created from the outside with the external image. In these days of media, companies do not leave their image to chance, but work on their standing, their self-image, by spreading their engagement in the media. This works as long as there is no Maximum Credible Accident (MCA). A good example of a face loss was the attempt in 1995 to dump the Brent Spar in the North Sea. The bad guy was Shell, not the responsible chairman Cor Herkströter.
  • The lived out convictions
    The advantageous convictions are emphasized through public relations. This includes a hopeful outlook onto the future and goes from values, concerning what is right and wrong, to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks. Thus, the company gets the attributes that we use to describe ourselves. To make these soft aspects tangible, there is the ISO Guideline 26000 that brings the social conscience to a common denominator – concerning governance, human rights, labor practices, the environment, fair business practices, customer problems and societal commitment development. And then one proclaims on its website Corporate Social Responsibility by KIK – without signature or mentioning of names.
  • The competitive key skills
    The corporate skills are defined by the knowledge and proficiency of its workforce, the management style and the existing infrastructure. By focusing on core competencies, the company bundles its strengths. As the vertical range of production becomes flatter and more and more services are provided in combination with a lot of different companies, the self-image needs clarity with regard on one’s own focal points. Do the strengths lie in the selection of the right emphasis? Or the appropriate implementation? Or the ability to quickly exploit trends? Or the strength to develop something new? Or in the skill of effectively allocating one’s own resources? We can imagine the service provider as a person, who, for example, helps large corporations to better align their IT to their business success with software – his name is Alfabet Inc.
  • The visible actions
    When looking at what is happening in the enterprise, the actions become visible – which goods and services are offered? How are the processes designed (especially at the touchpoints)? How is it controlled? What is disseminated through the media and how? How does the management level appear in public? We are measured by our actions. If a private individual evades taxes, he is publicly pilloried and sentenced to prison. Companies such as Microsoft, which divert the vast amounts of profits pass the tax office, are not tangible and get away with it – who is the responsible CEO?
  • The recognizable context
    The published image provides evidence of the perceived affiliation of a company. In addition, the business scope and the choice of partners allow drawing conclusions about how the company sees itself. How uniform does the company appear in different regions? Are the values adapted to local morality or do global standards apply? That can go as far that one loses the national bond and instead of Made in Germany introduces Made by Mercedes Benz. And then there are companies where the brand is also represented by an entrepreneurial personality consider Trigema and you think of the sole owner Wolfgang Grupp.

Bottom line: In summary, you recognize that the qualities attributed to a company correspond to those of persons. This begins with the corporate identity that is used to present yourself as young, sedate or creative personality. In the absence of differences, the values become important – those, who once damage the environment, will …. As in sporty matches, companies compete against each other in an effort to attract the customer’s attention. It is not enough to be the first, but you also have to cross the finish line with style. After the pendulum of globalization swings back again into the nation, identity becomes important again – no matter whether with „Buy American“ or „Make America great again“. The personification of large groups makes it easier for the public to deal with abstract companies. That makes the human being the ideal metaphor for organizations.

It’s not always a problem – for everybody

The crucial question is not whether conspicuities are a problem, but for whom and from when. The starting point for solving a problem is the moment when someone turns a circumstance into a problem. The example of the clever handling of problems has become well-known with the production system of Toyota. There, employees can stop the production line, if they recognize an error that can not be solved immediately. Of course, this requires a corresponding understanding of what a mistake is and the fact that the deviation is perceived and the employees consider themselves responsible. It already starts with small things. Although a broken pencil is not complete anymore, it still works. Not everybody bothers with the flaw, as long as they can write with it. And even if an issue is seen as a problem that does not mean that someone feels responsible and takes care of it. It’s simply not always a problem – for everybody.

At first a problem must cross the perceptual threshold of the people involved before they can take care of it. The level depends on commonly known mechanisms.

  • Influence of stereotypes
    General metrics should normally allow the early detection of problems. However, the processing of the parameters is distorted by supplemental information, such as vivid stereotypes, so that they get more weight than the objective measurements. If someone, who has an unreliable reputation, delivers the figures, they are recognized less than if they come from a respected person. Accordingly, not all problems become problems.
  • Influence of moods
    Experiences are deeply engraved into our subconscious mind. Every time something is repeating, the related emotional anchor is strengthened without us realizing. If we encounter a similar situation, these feelings are activated and influence our assessment. If a specific situation has already occurred more often without any damage, this can lead to the fact that the situation is not recognized as a problem. Accordingly, not all problems become problems.
  • Influence of similar circumstances
    An assessment never takes place solely on the basis of the current case. It automatically takes into account similar situations. The resemblance is a matter of the content, the acting people and the other context. Once you have found your benchmarks, you align yourself with the conclusions and results of these comparative cases. If a thousand times nothing has happened, when the signals went red, then also nothing will happen this time. Accordingly, not all problems become problems.
  • Influence of convictions
    The consideration of a situation is also naturally shaped by one’s own beliefs and mental patterns. It is very unlikely that people question their own values ​​and conclusions with an opposite assessment. As a result, you do not use the visible but conflicting information in order to show a problem just because they do not fit your worldview. The reliable friend does not suddenly become unreliable. Accordingly, not all problems become problems.
  • Influence of other filters
    Our attention is limited by many additional filters. For example, the latest information has more impact than older ones; or obvious arguments are more important than not so obvious ones; or negative are affecting more than positive ones. When an opinion has formed, it will be difficult to change it again. The whole culminates in what is generally called prejudice. The technician is then unable to understand the customer and the sales person lacks the understanding of the technology – which means that their remarks are not taken into account. Accordingly, not all problems become problems.

Bottom line: Problems are the result of a subjective consideration of striking circumstances, which are only considered delicate, when they exceed the perception threshold of the people. The necessary attention is influenced by stereotypes, moods, views of the world and many other filters. Only when these factors are overcome and a problem becomes, what it is, only then we can take care of solving the problem. It’s simply not always a problem – for everybody.