Saturday, May 15, 2010

Linking Greatness - Structures within Structures

At a recent discussion about applying "Good to Great" principles at our institution, one our our department leaders talked about a sophisticated structure he had built up over the years to identify and develop talent within his department. He described as a "hierarchical" model, which moved talented individuals from "field staff" to "leaders" to "gold badges". It was clearly well thought through, disciplined, and understood by all members of his department.

The key points that generated from this discussion were:
  • did this structure enable this department to move down the path of "greatness"? how would he know?
  • this structure clearly allowed him to identify the good players, however, did it help him to identify the "ones who should not be on the bus"?
  • and, by the same token, did the structure help him to "move the wrong people off the bus"?
Moreover, it was quite likely that this was the only department in the institution that had set up such a structure raising further questions of:
  • should this model be emulated by other departments?
  • what is the impact to the drive for greatness to have different such structures within different departments?
Questions like these allow us as managers to dive deeper into our constructs and understand better how to connect our work with the overall work of an institution and to ensure that our department-specific activities are helping to drive the overall institution to greatness.

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