Excretion - How is your Organisation dealing with the everyday issues of "waste"?
Living Organisations produce waste - it is a natural outcome of the process of active metabolism. As such, Living organisms do not fear waste - even though the whole concept is understandably distasteful.
From Metaphor to Explanation to Action
Waste has many forms. In learning, we have the ‘waste‘ of mistakes and errors. In personnel we have members who choose not to contribute to the health of the organisation. In manufacturing and systems, we have processes and procedures that are inefficient or downright wasteful.
So, in a true Living Organisation, as in a Learning Organisation mistakes that we explicitly learn from are valued as an integral part of the learning process. This means that positive attention is given as much to learning from our mistakes as from learning from our successes. This is not to say that Living Organisations are soft on mistakes - whilst ‘failure‘ is not a part of our vocabulary, mistakes and errors are feedback mechanisms that need to be responded to. Mistakes, unnecessarily repeated are responded to far more directively (and we favour the Situational Leadership model of Dr Paul Hersey).
Members who have chosen to not make a contribution to the vitality of the organisation (and this includes suppliers and clients) are given every encouragement to align themselves with the corporate mission, vision and purpose. However, when it becomes clear that pruning is necessary, every opportunity is taken to ease the path of the leaving member into a successful future placement. The win-win approach is maintained, and doors are left open and welcoming.
During appraisals, successful resolution of issues is as valued and rewarded as more obvious successes. We recognise the value of the person above their current performance, and take a proactive role in moving personnel towards their potential - coaching them through the down-times.
Living Organisations are generously-frugal - trimming all waste and pursuing recycling wherever possible, whilst generously resourcing all displays of initiative.