A dysfunctional company can be compared to car with an engine problem, you might be able to run it for a while but it’ll stop eventually. Definitely, a company won’t be able to start properly if it has problem. However, these issues might occur if it doesn’t have the right support and guidance.
According to Ben Dattner, a New York organizational psychologist, “The hallmark of a dysfunctional organisation is a gap between reality and rhetoric”. If company funds are not used properly and equally, if plans are just merely said than executed or if issues on communications affect performance that only means that you are trading with a dysfunctional company.
If these problems are immediately identified, it can help prevent negative effects and correct the issues right away. Apparently this is not easy nor can be immediately resolve. In identifying the source you have to have a tough mind. This is because the problem usually happens at the top of the organization. These are signs that the company is already at risk and here are also some tips on how to possibly resolve this.
1. There are leaders who fake it. Linda Hanson of Dallas-based LLH Enterprises said that “People were snarly and mean”. This was during the time when she helped Houston Construction Company with about 50 employees, gross annual income of $160 million and senior managers who were at each other’s throat. She said that “There was in-fighting and lots of yelling. They had lost respect for one another and weren’t working as a team.” She mentioned the primary example was the information technology (IT) manager whom every department had depended on him. He had many complaints from other mangers. Hanson said that “he didn’t care about their problems, didn’t have time, didn’t listen, didn’t support them and marched to his own drum.”
The situation even got worst when the chief executive officer tried to solve this problem by hiring a new sales manager who implemented a totally different rules and regulations.
It created an unwanted atmosphere between the managers which leads to needing the help of Hanson to put back everything into place.
During a meeting that was attended by the CEO and managers of the company, Hanson imposed the “mapping process” where each manager will be looking closely at the flow and operations. They had been obliged to do a Post-It every time they saw a glitch or something wrong with the process. This also made the CEO aware and involve on what is happening in the company by focusing on duplication and weaknesses without needing to pin point on anyone’s fault.
On the latter part, she required the managers to make an evaluation of himself and with all the other managers. She then discusses it with them and asked everyone to do a one on one meeting with each other outside of the office. They have also been given a task to talk about themselves like their hobbies and interests during group meetings. This aims to build relationship among them. After 4 months she was able to have the managers set their meeting for the purpose of discussing their business scenario instead of just fulfilling assignments.
However, the problem remains the same because the people from the top are those unwilling to do the transformation. The CEO and the President of the company never changed.
The company did improve, much better than it was before. But the whole transformation didn’t happen. Because the change needs to start from the top, and it’s hard to tell the CEO that he is the actual problem of the company.
If there is one lesson we learn, that is, a dysfunctional company can start with the disconnection between what the leader say they want from doing what they want. A leader must be willing to do, what he asks his employees to do.
2. When your boss are always pointing their fingers. A company won’t be able to succeed it they are always dealing with penalty over experimentation and trust. It is true that after hitting the wall, only few managers are able to keep their composure.
A very evident difference between a company that promotes innovation from the one that is stagnant is how one company is still able to give confidence to their employees for them to overcome such failure.
Ross Moserowitz of Franchise Insights once said that “When you see a pattern of blaming and people trying to protect themselves and their particular turf, something is wrong”.
A thought to ponder: Give your employees the responsibility but learn to trust them and their capabilities to do it. Be hand-on. That’s the only way to do it better.
3. A CEO who doesn’t know how to prioritize. In a company’s desire to move faster and easily level up, they often forgot that no one is really in charge thus result to dysfunction taking on hold of your business.
A 20-year-old software company hired Paul Glen who is an IT management consultant in Marin a del Rey, Calif. Glen’s advised was to create a new product management department. The business is too big that it has 13 departments with 100 employees and each executive of every department has to report directly to CEO. This set-up hinders them from being able to talk to anyone about their department.
Apparently when the 13 executives were asked on what would be the job of the new department he receives different answers from each and everyone. That made him realize that what the company actually need is someone to coordinate them to be able to share information.
According to Glen, the department simply create products and release it without coordination from other department thus makes other department find it hard to understand the features and fix any problem that might exist.
Every department were trying to run on their own. Priorities are always changing and no decision was made constant. The CEO even left the executive the task to do the decision making. Although they are all after the best interest of the company, chaos due to miscommunication still exists.
A thought to ponder: Mission and agenda of the company must be set by the leader. And one cannot go hand-off.
Dysfunctional company often exists to bigger companies, because smaller ones are easier to catch up with. However, being complacent about this thought can also result to dysfunction in a long term period.
Make a constant rechecking of your company’s health. Make immediate amendments if needed and get rid of the 3 signs of dysfunctional company.