Do we focus on people or the systems? What is your take?
Working within a dysfunctional organization run by old mindsets can be exhausting. To change this, should we focus on the people working within them or the system itself?
"95% of performance is explained by the system, 5% by people" (Deming, Ackhoff). Of course the "system" is much more than the org chart and includes people's thinking that drives the system's outward manifestations.
So yes: focus on people if by that you mean changing their thinking and shaking up their unsupportable beliefs. But working in people as mostly understood by contemporary managers and their L&D departments (as in "fixing" people through coaching, "upskilling", etc.) won't change anything...
In 2012, Haier gave 12,000 managers a choice: "you can leave, or join our new structure." Some left, many stayed and joined one of 4,000 small independent companies within Haier—the so-called 'microenterprises' (MEs). Many academics, management gurus and other companies were amazed with how the ME structure stimulated entrepreneurship. So why the hell would Haier fiddle with it's structure, again?
Yash Pakka is a compostable tableware manufacturer in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. Their products are made from sugarcane waste and are 100% compostable, and the factory is even powered by its own power grid that uses rice husk as fuel. But they’re innovative not just in terms of what they make, but how they organise.