Whoops, Another Iceberg

iStock_000016216188SmallLunch with an exasperated friend, recently appointed Head of Finance Transformation at a well-known corporate.

“Everywhere I look, I see icebergs looming’, he explained. ‘There are three major systems implementations under way.  There is an offshoring program, and an outsourcing initiative. But there’s no shared visibility of the big picture. Everyone is busying away in their silo, focussed on their deliverables, making sure that blame for the expected failures can’t be laid at their door.”

“They’ve come to think that bumping into icebergs, and losing a few ships entirely, is normal. Bang. Whoops, another program sunk and lost.  Ah well, at least they can’t pin it on me…”

The alarming truth is that organizational insouciance about effective collaboration is not uncommon.  It has to be a root cause of the colossal costs of IT project failures, for instance.

How can it be possible, you might reasonably ask, that organizations can waste so much so easily? Isn’t it totally obvious that effective collaboration in complex global enterprises demands a common language, holistic perspectives and robust governance? Isn’t it staring us in the face that a casual attitude to process management isn’t just a huge waste (and the gift that keeps on giving as far as some consultants are concerned) – it’s also a huge compliance risk?

You might have thought so. But, for some organizations at least, the evidence suggests otherwise.  It can take a lot of icebergs to make a burning platform.

Somewhere an entrepreneur must be putting the finishing touches to a watertight measure of an organization’s process maturity. An index which investors and ratings agencies will come to expect to see in any audited statements. Level 1 might be competence in spotting icebergs.

Related Posts

22 Feb 2013   Burning Platforms

18 Feb 2013   Dealing With Process Commitment Phobia (The CXO Clinic)