Brainfood: Are You Suffering From - Malorganisation

Malorganisation is common in companies that suffer from 'collective stupidity', as Karl Albrecht neatly puts it. You know the scenario: Department A fails to tell Department B (based in another building) of a very important development, but as both departments report to someone who never returns calls or answers e-mails because he's so busy travelling, the information ends up on the desk of the vice-president of Department C, who tosses it aside. It can't be important because no-one has told him that it is.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor,
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

A and B pretend they never knew anything about it. Malorganisation, a word for this massive falling between the cracks, sums up most large firms.

Symptoms are a chronic lack of communication, endless paperwork and e-mails, and a boss who hides behind his secretary. The solution is to do the unthinkable: sit down and have a conversation. Introduce head of Department A to head of Department B and suggest they go to lunch. Ban e-mails for a day and suggest employees relearn how to use the phone instead - works miracles.

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