# Individual Competence vs. Organizational Efficiency LO28867

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 07/22/02

Dear Organlearners,

Glebe Stcherbina <gstc3416@mail.usyd.edu.au> writes:

>Gaining and using "Power and control" is one of many
>games played in organizations and unfortunately companies
>reward those who play the game best rather than those
>who actually possess the talent and provide the performance.

Greetings dear Glebe,

You have touched upon an important problem -- some individuals who exploit
the organisation for personal means so much that many others in the
organisation suffer as a result of it.

As I see it, the fundamental reason why any organisation is created, is
to enhance the creativity of each of its members. It can be expressed
symbolically as follows. Let the organisation have N members. Let the
creativity of the members be C(1), C(2), C(3),...., C(N-2), C(N-1)
and C(N). The sum of their creativities is
[C(1) + C(2) + C(3) +....+ C(N-2) + C(N-1) + C(N)]
Imagine the organisation has a creativity symbolised by C(org). It can
be expressed by the "power law"
C(org) = [C(1) + C(2) + C(3) +....+ C(N-2) + C(N-1) + C(N)]^n
The exponent n tells how organised the individuals have become.

The values of n fall into three categories:
(1) n > 1
This means that
C(org) > [C(1) + C(2) +....+ C(N-1) + C(N)]
i.e., the whole is more than the sum of its parts. We may think of the
organisation as if in a constructive mode.
(2) n = 1
This means that
C(org) = [C(1) + C(2) +....+ C(N-1) + C(N)]
i.e., the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. We may think of the
organisation as if in a structless mode -- as if it does not exist.
(3) n < 1
This means that
C(org) < [C(1) + C(2) +....+ C(N-1) + C(N)]
i.e., the whole is less than the sum of its parts. We may think of the
organisation as if in a destructive mode.

When some members pirate the organisation for their own personal
means (whatever it might be) at the expense of the creativity of other
members, the organisation functions in the destructive more with
n < 1. The organisation's creativity is less than the sum of the
creativities of its members. This happens because some of the C's
in the sum
[C(1) + C(2) + C(3) +....+ C(N-2) + C(N-1) + C(N)]
get suppressed.

This can happen in any kind of organisation (sport, art, business,
academic, political, religious, etc.). Of particular importance is that
there are no emergences in such an organisation. If today is not like
yesterday, it will be slightly worse. It will never get better by jumps.

The problem is how to get that organisation out of its destructive mode.
It is not that easy to propose the solution that each member has to have
knowledge on creativity. The reason is that the act of learning in a
person which leads to knowledge is sustained by that person's creativity.
(To learn is to create!) Impaired creativity of the person leads to
impaired learning and consequently too little knowledge to act
effectively.

I think that it takes leadership to identify the opportunists in the
organisation as well as those suffering by it. It takes leadership to
curtail the opportunists and restore or even improve the creativity of
those who suffered. If the management team does not have such leadership
or is opportunistic itself, there is little hope of getting such an
organisation out of its destructive mode. Sooner or later that
organisation will die off.

I personally think that prevention is better than cure. All members of the
organisation from the bottom to the top should prevent their creativities
to become destructive. But how?

With care and best wishes

```--
At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za>
Snailmail:    A M de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre
Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria
Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa
Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com>
Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>
```

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