Tuesday 12 August 2014

the old hometown looks the same....

I'm due to rejoin my old department at the end of next month.  There have been a lot of changes in the time I've been away, and they seem more confused than ever before.  I was invited to a large briefing today to outline some of the changes, and I thought it might be a good idea to show willing and to actually try and find out what on earth has been going on.

Lots of changes.  So many changes.

We're a global company and as is the way with these things, they're slowly bringing various functions and departments together across the globe as they seek efficiencies.  To make things clearer to everyone, we had an hour long presentation running through the organograms from the various countries.

An hour.  Looking at organisation charts.  Every bit as thrilling and informative as you might imagine. SIXTY MINUTES.  They had some light relief between slides where they timed people blowing up balloons for a small prize.... how we laughed and how the time flew.

After that, we broke up into smaller groups to listen to work our way around the room, listening to presentations from the various workstreams.  Apparently, the feedback is that people are confused by the changes to the organisation.  The solution? To buy some software to help build organograms.  Because, you know, the problem here is clearly the lack of clarity in our people charts.  People find it difficult to know where to find people.  The solution? Force everyone to use the same format of signature file on their emails, including a photo and then give them a standard way of creating a name plate for their desks.  They're also toying with the idea of putting signs on the pillars.  That should do it.  People are also frustrated by system A (a porfolio management tool).  The solution? Replace system A with system B (another portfolio management tool).  I asked what assurance we could have that we wouldn't be standing around a board in twelve months time discussing how people are frustrated with system B.  What is it about system B that will remove these frustrations?  Ah, they replied, we can't give you those assurances, because system A wasn't really the problem, it was the processes.  Are you changing them?  Not really.  Right.  Fair enough.

In the old days, I might have railed loudly and publically about this nonsense and asked all kinds of awkward questions in public to demonstrate to everyone else how ridiculous and poorly thought through all this nonsense is.  I've changed though, I mostly kept that to myself, along with my thoughts that they perhaps might be better focusing on delivering the multi-million pound projects to the business that they've been screwing up all year rather than choosing which organogram drawing tool they should buy and what colour the signage above desks should be.

I'm proud of myself; I've really grown as a person.   This should be fun, eh?  For everyone.

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