Organization follows Technology ? LO13393

John Zavacki (
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 05:25:23 -0400

Replying to LO13366 --

Both Ben Compton and William Hobler give citations which minimize the
impact of technology on white collar work. The recent IBM Lotus Notes
series of ads pushes the point with a sneering commentary on "surfing" the

While these points are well made, there is an underlying fixes that fail
archetype which deals with personal mastery. In many of my client
companies the perceived need for technological solutions is, in fact
correct. Technology is needed. The technologies of personal mastery.
Production schedulers who don't understand systems, purchasing agents who
rely on "economies of scale", HR departments which use interview
techniques which ensure the hiring of "superstars", etc.

Often the problem is one of installing the second layer of technology
before the first. Without understanding the nature of the organization
and its requisite skill sets, a PC allows for doing the wrong things
faster or may reinforce psychological drift. A favorite example is a
company which operates on a project by project basis, but doesn't have
anyone skilled in project management. The perceived fix is to install
software. I could write on this one all morning, but the punchline is

no application, regardless of how well it is written can improve
the productivity of a human who doesn't understand why it is written.
Look to the individual skill sets, the leadership, and the organizational
operating system of values and visions before you obfuscate the cause of
the problem with another layer of complexity.

NOTE: the productivity of people who understand the process the software
was written to enhance AND who work in an environment which shares values
and works towards a common goals is tremendous.

John Zavacki
The Wolff Group

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>