The Berlin Wall of Business

I recently listened to a documentary about East Germany before the
downfall of the Berlin wall in 89, where it was stated that while
Hitler’s Germany in the 40ies had about 1 official or unofficial
informer (“system controller” -.Gestapo etc) per 2000 inhabitants,
east germany before 89 had a ratio of 1 to 7, the vast majority being
directly or indirectly employed by Stasi.Fear and lack of trust and initiative was a dominant characteristic of
the East German society.Ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2002, major businesses seem to be
operating in a climate dominated by fear of making any mistakes,
however small. The ratio of “controllers” over “performers” (employees
behind the lines vs employees in the trenches) seem to be ever
increasing in modern business operations. Process compliance is the #1
objective in much of today’s business.

It appears to me that we, despite our stated wish to being
“innovative” and “creative” in our modern business, in fact are much
too afraid nowadays risking to make any kind of mistakes, small or
large, for allowing any innovation to happen.

Fear inhibits initiative, innovation, motivation and creative and
constructive activity. Overwhelming amounts of bureaucratic processes
and business controls inhibit employee motivation, risk taking and
willingness to do whatever it takes to reach the objectives.

Thus, it seems to me that while the former eastern block countries
have abandoned “perfect” control over their citizens, modern
businesses have instead embraced their best practices of monitoring
and control in fear of risk of anyone within the organization making
any mistake.



About swdevperestroika

High tech industry veteran, avid hacker reluctantly transformed to mgmt consultant.
This entry was posted in Management, Organization and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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