I got a kick out of Seth Godin´s blog posting yesterday of "The Adventures of Action Item,"?? a cool creation by Neil McAllister . The comic strip poked fun at the sometimes ridiculous business speak we engage in and how communication processes sometimes get in the way of good communication, action and results.
I have found this to be most true in larger companies, but any organization can fall prey to what I call OD-OD — or an overdose of organization development methods.
OD-OD can sterilize or delay great work. Yesterday´s post about to-do lists hit on this theme as well.
Team meetings, problem solving processes, and facilitated brainstorming sessions have their place and value. Let´s not over use these tools and become an organization that communicates on schedule and per an agenda (this is not agenda bashing, agendas are often helpful).
OD-OD might be occurring if:
Problems take too long to solve (OD-OD is just one potential cause).
Meetings get so regimented they do not allow for creative thinking or lively discussion.
Ad hoc conversations are rare.
You feel the urge to march into a peer´s office and say, "I don´t wanna wait to schedule a meeting and I don´t want to call a committee, let´s just solve this problem right here and now!"??
There´s something to be said for fluid, spontaneous, and informal collaboration.
If you think your organization might be suffering from OD-OD, do yourself and your organization a favor and take the initiative help it get real.