Why does the disorganization occur? Remember, good leadership always includes accountability.
1. Disorganization by Senior Executives
These individuals are easy to spot. They frequently ask for documents a second time. “Send me another copy, it’s probably in my email backlog.” The last thing they need is another copy of anything. Their offices are often an array of piles and may not leave you a spot to sit down. They are often late for meetings. If these individuals chair a meeting, you may be late for your next one as they likely won’t finish on time. Meanwhile direction is unclear and accomplishment is minimal. On the other hand, action – without accomplishment – is plentiful, often at the expense of others because other people work harder to keep these folks organized.
2. Insufficient Action Regarding Strategic Objectives
Once the mission, vision, strategic goals and target are set, who does the follow up? Where is the accountability and how often is progress tracked. You may have used balance scorecards, dashboards, quality management strategies or a host of other tools and still found your company falling short of its goals. Look and see what structure, systems and processes were put into place to support the accomplishment of those goals. Are they visible? Does everyone know what they are and how the company will attain them?
3. Lack of Documentation Retention Policies
I am constantly surprised the number of times I enter an individual’s office and find they have paper they have never looked at, boxes they have never opened and don’t know what to do with material that they don’t want or need any longer. Do your employees know how often your expect them to purge their files, paper or digital, and what to do with the result?
4. Failure to Understand Space Requirements of Employees/Programs
Too often when programs or employees ask for more space, they are merely moving clutter they don’t need in the first place. Unfortunately, their bosses don’t understand enough about their position, role or program to understand that before anything is moved, an new filing cabinet is purchased or a new lease is signed, a good clear out is required.
5. Unwillingness/Inability to Manage/Address Individual Disorganization
Unfortunately for employee and manager alike, too many managers are ill prepared to assess and address disorganization in an employee. Their tardiness on projects, lateness for meetings, failure to respond to email and excessive piles of paper and overtime hours are disappointing at best and very expensive for a company to support. Tackling it requires diligent performance management and all too often, managers just don’t have the skill.
Tomorrow the Top 5 continues with Actions to Make a Difference.