Organizing for Change/Profession: Integrating architectural by Robert Bauer (auth.), Michael Shamiyeh (eds.)

By Robert Bauer (auth.), Michael Shamiyeh (eds.)

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In addition, we perceived him as quite intimidating. He had a reputation as an authoritarian character with debatable interpersonal skills, yet possessed the most brilliant intellect to which we had been exposed. It took a while until the first student dared to propose an answer, and the professor didn’t even bother to point out why it was wrong. He just demanded that someone else answered the question: How do you decide if the number of pieces a worker (or group) is required to produce is just?

In problem solving we seek to make something we do not like go away. In creating, we seek to make what we truly care about exist. Few distinctions are more basic. Of course, most of us, in both professional and private life, spend far more time problem solving and reacting to circumstances than focusing our energies on creating what we really value. Indeed, we can get so caught up in reacting to problems that it is easy to forget what we actually want. Organizations must do both – resolve day-to-day problems and generate new results.

John Elter, a former vice president at Xerox, used this principle to great effect. Early in a multiyear, productdevelopment process to create the company’s first fully digital copiers, Elter took his team on a two-day wilderness expedition in the New Mexico desert. 9< On the way back, they happened to walk by a dump – at the bottom of which they discovered a Xerox copier. It was a revelation. ” Says Elter, “Most of the constraints engineering teams deal with are management claptrap. All the managers make them up: The product has got to grow revenue by this amount.

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