Termites in the organization structure

Hear that sound? It’s termites eating away at the very framework and foundation of your organization. The termites are called expectations.

It can depend on how one defines this amorphous jelly fish we call organizational culture, but at least in my view it includes how people think, feel, and act in relation to their values, their beliefs, their expectations, and their surroundings. I believe that we are witnessing seismic changes in the workplace caused by shifting employee demographics (internally) and external demands on corporate behavior.

What is not changing as rapidly in some places is transformation to the workplace structure (how power and control is delegated) plus changes to systems and processes intended to give meaning and life to those structures (e.g. communications, accountability, responsibility measures, collaboration, coordination, and delegation of authority).

So we end up with an evolving org culture (what is important and why) not represented in the existing structure or systems. Which cascades down to the workplace climate including job satisfaction, morale and engagement. Bottom line: unhappy employees and toxic workplaces with very uneven services to clients. Too often the solution gets fixated on quickie actions like “let’s have a workshop on better communications” when the problem is much more deeply and darkly entrenched in the framework.

But there’s no point re-painting a wall in a spiffy color to make everyone happy when the problem is termites eating away the foundation!

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