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Barriers That Hinder

by The Authors on April 18th, 2012

Removing barriers that impede performance, creativity, communication, and problem solving is crucial to success in today’s business environment, but it often occurs much too slowly and infrequently. Most people in today’s organizations regularly encounter organizational barriers that are extremely difficult to overcome or eliminate. The truth is that many organizations do everything possible to hold onto their rules, policies, procedures, processes, and systems as long as possible. Only when such organizational ways and means are shown to be obviously faulty, obsolete, or failing, are they changed—and even then with great resistance.

Of course, all organizational rules, policies, procedures, processes, and systems are instituted to address specific needs and circumstances—the problem is that needs and circumstances change weekly, even daily. At eBay there are no barriers to accomplishing anything and everything necessary to grow the company’s robust trading network. eBay has 100 million active users, many of whom earn their living off the site, are a creative demanding crowd who don’t want to be stopped from achieving their desired results. Early in the company’s development, after a systems crash that nearly swamped the start-up firm, then CEO Meg Whitman hired Maynard Webb away from Gateway, she paid him more than twice her own salary and gave him an open road to building a system infrastructure that now handles over a billion transactions per day. Of course, the system has continued to advance.

Keeping your organizational culture and infrastructure flexible and easily adaptable are the new key success factors. Don’t let your people experience frustration, anger, and disengagement over organizational barriers—whenever they do, it is a clear sign that some of your organization’s rules, policies, procedures, processes or systems have hindered, rather than assisted in achieving the organization’s desired results.

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