Monday, December 13, 2004

Disorganisation.Why organisations must 'loosen up'!

Organizations are caught up in a growing tension between those who want to take greater control in the name of accountability and those who want the freedom to make full use of their individual creativity.

This tension is to be seen in the relationship between schools and the Ministry of Education. The Ministry with its imposition of targets and other compliance requirements, and with the talk of software so all schools can collect and share data between schools (and the Ministry), sounds very much like George Orwell’s ‘Big Bother’!

From a creative individuals point of view there is a desire for greater autonomy and flexibility. Such people want a greater say in the future of the organizations they work for. In short the want organizations to ‘disorganize’!

This sounds like the beliefs of a small but growing group of creative teachers and schools. And it sounds like democracy!

Only a few organizations have as yet experimented with ‘disorganization’ but the idea is beginning to impact on organizations that understand that their very survival depends on the imagination and creativity of those who choose to work for them.

The problem is one of balancing control (or at least ‘keeping the herd roughly pointed West’) and providing an environment that allows people more freedom to express their personal values and identity. It will require real leadership to create and sustain this dynamic but essential creative tension.

Those who presume to know best will have to learn to ‘let go’ and disorganize otherwise the brightest and the best will leave to work where their values and aspirations will be better met.

So it seems that those who like to run a tight and tidy ship will be left high and dry in the future while the more creative organizations will sail toward exciting new horizons.

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