Scuppering your own ship?

Anyone who founded a company wishes it to last long.  The company that I work for is American but it has more than 100 years of history: yes, it is first of the kind.


A healthy organization calls for productive and talented employees and grows in a lively working environment.  When a new company is born, of course, the scale might be small but it actually creates an ideal atmosphere for smooth communication and quick decision-making.  Instead, those which established a stable stage after a growth, have comparatively mid to large size and consist of many specialized departments that make communication and decision making process complex and, as a result, the complex structure causes delays in execution; it loses mobility.  Does this only because of the structure of the organization?


When the organization is small and growing, individual members always have their opinions to improve the situation and act like an owner.  If members do not show any contributions, others start to make noise about their no-output.  As the company starts to grow, there will be many more different types of works so that each individual has to form a team to make the work more efficient.  This is a necessary step for a company to grow.  However, people have to start paying attention to what they do from this point.


If a team leader, at a certain point of time, starts to search for stability of their work and keep their vested rights or interests.

“Let’s make my subordinates do all miscellaneous works and, when necessary, I give them advice.  I want to pick up a higher-level work as I have been working so hard in the past few years to make this company big.” “I built this wonderful team and I don’t think others can do better.  Even if someone else tries to steal the team from me, I will stop him/her no matter what.”  There must be some readers remembering the similar phrase.

Among young members who watch what their bosses doing or saying these for a few years, some might believe that what they see is the right thing and think,

“I would like to act like my boss when I climb up to his level and enjoy my life without doing troublesome jobs.”

In a long-lasing Japanese company, group managers or division managers tend to be away from their office visiting customers (but we don’t know exactly where they are) or to play golf with customers(we don’t know for sure):  The higher their positions are, the less they work because they believe they are privileged to do so.  In the worst case, they have no interests in what their subordinates do.  Such department will stick out as their performance gets worse without any solutions and the leader tends to blame his subordinates.  If those types of people work at Non-Japanese companies, their groups or divisions will be slashed no matter what.  This is very fair and efficient restructuring.  The company that I work for is no exception. We only need Acting Managers who do most of the work for themselves and for the team: as the person can manage a lot of work, HR gives them subordinates.  It doesn’t matter if the person is VP or SVP.  They are required to understand what’s going on in the market as well as in their teams.  No secretary is provided unless you are included in the top 1%.  Why Acting Manager?  Acting Managers can immediately correct mistakes, change the way they should proceed, and implement necessary countermeasures.  If the group leader is not Acting Manager, the only thing he can do is to keep losing revenue and shares against competitors, and as a result, he loses their jobs eventually.   

In other words, the organization is dumped into the dust bin, regardless of its wonderful company creed: Many group leaders are away from the market and consumers but they try to make money for their own sake and/or to expand his empire by increasing unnecessary jobs and subordinates. 

This applies not only for a profit organization but also others like religious, public benefit organization and private schools.


Scuppering your own ship?  Is that what you want to do?

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