Dealing with shadows in OD LO9853

Keith Cowan (72212.51@CompuServe.COM)
09 Sep 96 14:23:41 EDT

Replying to LO9780 --

Brock Vodden <> emphasizes the key issue of HR
and IT being mishandled at the core of obstacles to LO:

>Third, Keith, I believe you are correct in saying that it is a line/staff
>issue, or at least it is perceived that way in many organizations. It has
>been my impression that in a learning organization that kind of split and
>conflict should be decreased or eliminated. In any case, I feel it is much
>more than a line/staff problem we are adressing.

In my world view, the line/staff dichotomy represents a whole book of
distinctions! For the purpose of this list, let me dispense with it by
saying that the confusion arises in organizations in which the CEO has
not been clear enough on the importance of people and technology as
items he/she holds line management accountable for, and the HR and
IT roles are to support the line with standards, training and good
processes, and as I said intially:

"What Joe is highlighting here is a fundamental schizophrenia regarding
the roles of "line" and "staff" in any organization. Just as it would be
ridiculous to delegate the responsibility for revenue and expense to the
CFO (they are the scorekeepers), it is unfortunate that the practice of
delegating "people things" to HR and "technology things" to MIS has crept
into management systems. Sometimes this happens without any conscious
thought, other times it is just a convenient way of ducking CEO
accountabilities for complex and uninteresting (to them) subjects..."



Keith Cowan <72212.51@CompuServe.COM>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>