In the first article of this six-part series we introduced the four workplace cultures: Defensive, Paternalistic, Open, and Collaborative. In this fourth installment, we’ll paint a sketch of the Open workplace.
In an Open workplace chaos abounds, and is characteristic of many start ups. Here are some hallmarks of the Open workplace:
- The organization is flat, not hierarchical.
- The company mantra is, “We have nothing to hide!”
- Problems and ideas are shared freely; open disagreement is encouraged.
- People at all levels are free to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Information flows everywhere, from multiple channels.
- Calendars overflow with meetings.
- Task forces and cross-functional groups are everywhere.
- Tear down the walls! This is a cubical-free zone.
- Employee involvement, activity, and energy-levels around the company are high.
- So many people are involved in decision-making, sometimes no decisions are made.
- People work long hours to keep their heads above water, because ideas never sleep.
- There’s abrupt abandonment of current projects, and hasty adoption of new ones.
- Every day is baptism by fire.
The Open workplace culture can be cutting edge and exciting, but this fire hose approach to running a business is a recipe for employee burnout. There is insufficient structure or processes in place to keep people from losing direction, and people never know what to expect.
Every team needs a playbook to clearly outline their goals and the key maneuvers needed to achieve them. A playbook:
- Creates clarity and focus
- Puts the future in your control
- Creates a filter for decision making, resource allocation, and evaluating new opportunities
- Helps you out-think the competition
- Creates a common platform for change
- Keeps you on track
To receive more Breakthrough Tools to transform your workplace, visit www.collaborationbreakthrough.com.
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