Information access and flow LO11461

Bill Harris (
Mon, 16 Dec 96 9:43:09 PST

Replying to LO11428 --

ParetoKid wrote:

>Simple answer: Reduce hierarchy. Complex answer: Reduce hierarchy.

Right on! I've found that making fun of myself and making it clear that
people who "work for me" can make fun of me in almost any way they like
(subject to certain basic human decencies) encourages information flow.
If they realize that they can give me any message they want, at any time,
in front of any company (e.g., my manager, his manager, ...) and that they
don't have to get the wording just right so as to avoid hurting my
feelings, then I'll be told quickly when they think I've made a blunder or
when they have information I'll likely need to do my job.

So how do I maintain "control"? The best way I've found is to interweave
other discussions with discussions about values: what we are trying to
achieve in the business. Intertwining those discussions with discussions
about other parts of the business make values seem integral, not the fad
de jour. Discussing them makes them more jointly owned, as I may end up
modifying my beliefs (as may they). Internalizing a useful set of values
enables all of us to respond to actual developing situations that don't
fit yesterday's plans.

Besides, who wants "control"? The business will get farther with results.


Bill Harris                             Hewlett-Packard Co. 
R&D Productivity Department             Lake Stevens Division 
domain:               M/S 330
phone: (206) 335-2200                   8600 Soper Hill Road
fax: (206) 335-2828                     Everett, WA 98205-1298 

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