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Organizational

Understanding Dysfunctional Organizations

A dysfunctional organization is one that rests on the shoulders of its key individuals.

A dysfunctional organization is one that rests on the shoulders of its key individuals.

To understand whether or not an organization is dysfunctional, you only need to answer one question: Which is more important, the meeting or the person who chairs the meeting? The answer to this question says a lot about an organization.

We all strive to build organizations that will one day become self-sufficient, but what does it mean to be truly self-sufficient regarding how an organization operates? What kind of organizations are truly self-sufficient?  “Self-sufficiency (also called self-containment) is the state of not requiring any aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is, therefore, a type of personal or collective autonomy” (Self-sufficiency, 2016).

To be autonomous is to be self-governing.  “An autonomous car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input” (Autonomous car, 2016). This suggests that to be autonomous is to be capable of performing independently of any other object or subject. This further suggests that an autonomous group is one that can perform independently of any member of the group.

So, if the person chairing the meeting is more important than the meeting, your organization is not autonomous; it is not capable of performing independently of the person who chairs the meeting and is, therefore, dysfunctional.

This is just one way to identify dysfunctional elements within an organization. There are others. If you know of any, post in the comments section below.

References
Autonomous car. (2016, August 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:49, August 9, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Autonomous_car&oldid=733667768

Self-sufficiency. (2016, July 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:44, August 9, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Self-sufficiency&oldid=731853834

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About Daryl Horton

I'm an information and knowledge manager specializing in creating and sustaining learning organizations in a chaotic and often complex environment. I'm also an artist at heart and I do a lot of creative writing.

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