Performance Factors

Factors Leading to Tropophilia, i.e., Optimum Performance & Excellence


ANSWER IN A NUTSHELL:
Open Systems Design Principles (OSDP)

When coordination and control of work is with those doing the work, people act knowing that:

  • Everyone’s ideas are valued and taken seriously

  • Success comes from anticipating trends and initiating change

  • Best outcomes are achieved through flexibility & Cooperation built into the approach

  • Each individual is fully responsible for his/her work.

  • Making assumptions explicit and exploring them is worth the discomfort.

  • Every task is part of some larger whole (‘I can’t win at your expense’)

  • Skepticism and doubt are valued as they foster continuous learning

  • Everyone shares a vision of a desirable quality of the work life and pays great attention to work processes and their sustainable development.

  • Ideal-seeking behavior!


OSDP enables organizations, with the active support of senior management, to redesign themselves continuously and cost effectively through the involvement of those whose work is changing and who have to live with the consequences of their actions/inactions.

The Open Systems, Trust-Building-Error-Reducing/Eliminating Mind Set:



  • Multi-skilled individuals capable of covering different jobs

  • Work needs (technical system) balanced with worker’s needs (social system)

  • People learn on a daily basis and their skills are profitably developed

  • Technical system extends and improves the productivity of social system

  • Organizational design based on specifying as little as possible and on skills of worker

  • Complex jobs, simple work environment

  • The building block is a self-managing (not autonomous) work team

  • Cooperative structures, processes and reward systems are the most effective & efficient means to higher quality and performance.

What are the Fundamental Factors Leading to Poor Performance?  



The Bureaucratic, Trust-Destroying-Error-Amplifying Mind Set:



  • Individuals have simple skills and are easily replaced

  • Technological determinism: design the work first (technical system) and then mandate that people (social system) fit into it.

  • Workers are “cogs” (a commodity) of a machine (the enterprise)

  • Organizational design based on total specification of everything

  • Very simple jobs in a very complex work environment

  • The building block is one person/one task

  • Competitive structures, command-control processes and reward systems are the only way to ‘high’ performance.


The Bureaucratic Organizational Design principles


When coordination and control of work is above those doing the work, people act as if:


  • There is little, if anything, to learn other than putting out fires.

  • Their firm, markets, and position are stable and unchanging

  • Procedures are sufficient to guide behavior

  • Change interferes with productivity and can be postponed

  • Responsibility and blame can be shifted to others

  • Unspoken assumptions need not be explored

  • Individuals are separate, therefore ‘I can win at your expense’

  • Success comes from top management reacting resourcefully to problems

  • Goal-seeking behaviour


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