The Danish Broadcasting Corporation runs a series of very interesting lectures and educational videos that I have only just now discovered – some of them are in English – here is one i enjoyed a lot and I think you might as well:
Professor Ralph Stacey from Hertfordshire University gives a short 20min lecture on the future of (public) leadership you can listen to the whole lecture here – but one thing really struck me. Prof Stacey talks about how we perceive or think about organizations as ‘things’ something mechanical a 3D object – but as he points out that is nonsense.
Take the hotel industry. If you visit a hotel that is closed for say renovation it is not really a hotel – it is just a building with a lot of stuff in it, slightly more upmarket than a Shuregard storage building possibly, but still, just a building.
What makes the building come alive as a hotel is when you put people in it – guest and staff.
The unique relationship and interaction between all these people make it a hotel and make it different from a Shuregard building. If those people where different and had different capabilities and relations – it could be a hospital or a university or what ever.
An organization is a complex web of relations and it is organic, not mechanic. But are we paying attention to the quality of those relations in the same way that we make sure the paint is not peeling of the walls ?