Collaborative Working vs. Clarity

Among the many comments to a recent article on IBM’s re-organization is this sigh-worthy one. The author apparently doesn’t work for IBM:

I work for a large complex business. Originally run on country lines, the board sucked on the consultant’s Kool-aid, and we adopted a chaotic matrix structure. Now nobody knows who does what, who’s accountable for what, we have multiple teams sniffing around the same customer deals, we talk about “collaborative working” and never do it.

Sigh. “Collaborative working” should never be an excuse for lack of business purpose, strategic direction, individual and joint accountability, job clarity, contribution, etc. Collaborative working in my view is something dynamic that works in the midst of such an environment to enable top-flight performance, not a throw-away phrase to explain away a mis-guided, confused, and directionless organization.

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