Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bureaucracies, Part 2

- following from Part 1.

On the surface, then, organizations could have three rankings:

-has a purpose in life, attracting new talent

-has a natural advantage, doesn't need new talent
-internal political weasels take control

-destroying talent, no great purpose

This might not be enough, since organizations can go through cycles, and it is difficult to plot them on the hopelessness scale. The Growing and Milking stages are boring, I prefer to concentrate on what happens at the beginning of the Decline stage (and the various sub-stages!).

All organizations that are truly entering the final stages, must be secretive. They follow the maxim: 'Don't air your dirty linen in public'. This is not necessarily a conscious decision, but rather, the company folds in upon itself. The process is usually accompanied by a growth of the Public Propaganda department which handles all outside communication.

This is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, since many efficient organizations are also closed and secretive (the Mafia!). Take for example, large drug companies which are mostly in the third stage. I know a brilliant young guy who has entered one for a work term. He has redesigned their processes, and fixed up their plans for new buildings. Yet the company totally blocks access to the Internet, and he spends his time getting around all their silly blocks, so he can get required information (as well as the usual other stuff).

The need for secrecy is extremely important, for both the milking and decline stage, since nobody on the outside must know what is going on. This is even more vital, when they are actively destroying talent. A company can continue to destroy new talent, as long as they offer good benefits, and attract innocent hordes. The example is WWI, which was the stupidest fatal destruction of talent ever. As long as nobody knew the truth of what was going on in the trenches, they could sing patriotic songs, and get more bodies to fill them.

The big problem is that these companies are running into the Internet, and it is my thesis that they are running down the decline stage much faster than they used to, mainly because the talent finds out, and shuns them. (to be continued).

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