How to Identify Dysfunctional Organizations
- Physical space is untidy and disorganized.
- Desks are cluttered and messy.
- Eating areas are posted with warnings, threats and admonitions.
- logs are out of date or not kept at all.
- File cabinets are not purged of obsolete material.
- Chronic facilities problems such as heating, cooling, noise, air conditioning, or air quality problems.
- Staff members effectiveness is impeded by inappropriate or poorly maintained office "tools" such as computers, phone systems, photocopiers, etc.
- Chronic staff complaints about allocation and quality of space and equipment.
- Management follow up and oversight may be lacking or take the form of nitpicking.
- Personnel turnover is high.
- Staff members complain about not being informed or being left out of important decisions.
- People are unduly concerned about who gets credit or blame.
- The office is divided with inter-office feuds, jealousy or bickering.
- The organization itself has continual conflicts with other organizations.
- Managers are overworked while other staff members have little to do.
- Important documents frequently get lost or misplaced.
- Phone calls are not returned, mail languishes unanswered.
- Staff members have no idea what management thinks of their performance.
- Terminations occur at short notice or come as complete surprises.
- Certain staff members are singled out as favorites.
- Staff members put signs on their desks like "It is had to soar with eagles when you work with vultures."
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©1997 Jim Britell
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