Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Empowered to Fail

I have seen instances where employees without specific skills relevant to the situation incorrectly try to diagnose problems based on what their own field of expertise. Eg a case where self directed shift crews (the crowd) were empowered to run a plant according to how they believed it should be run, but without technical understanding of the appropriate risks when unexpected circumstances occurred - unfortunately the techo's (the elite) were shifted off to the side as only support to the self directed crews (the crowd) - the glitch, the self directed shift crews (the crowd) then caused in their well meaning ignorance, when their "cygnets" unexpectedly became "black swans" instead of "white swans" ran to tens of millions of dollars to fix - some of us were then called in to clean up afterwards & were quite incredulous - to us it was entirely expected that "black swans" would result and not "white swans" ... But then the self-directed work crews (the crowd) didn't know about the existence or possibility of the "black swans" until far, far too late ... So sometimes a crowd helps, and sometimes it doesn't necessarily help and can hinder - it's about getting "all" the right people connected up via the informal networks when it is needed.

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