How to cure schizophrenic organisations

Over the years I’ve got to work in and with many different organisations; often in a trouble-shooting role.  Typically, by the time we arrive, things are a mess.  Characteristics typically include: a failure to recognise what is really going on, both within the own organisation or events affecting it from outside; incorrect assumptions about what is really going on, both within the own organisation or events affecting it from outside; unclear and confused thinking at a strategic and tactical level; inability to adequately communicate; persistent, repetitive failure; and slow, ineffective, often non-existent communication channels.

Many years ago I realised that these symptoms are almost identical to those of people suffering neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. 

The standard first-line treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication.  Now, as compelling as that might sound that’s likely impractical at an organisational level.  So what other options are there for mitigating or curing the schizophrenic organisation?

I recently made a breakthrough while working with the LINQ tool developed by Stratsim strategic partners;  LINQ is both a methodology and tool that very quickly captures an organisations information-ecosystem in the form of information-supply-chains; what source data supports which organisational outcomes with all the processes, systems and people in between.  In doing that it offers a snapshot of what parts of the organisation are critical and where your attention and resources should be focused; but nearly as important; what to ignore, delegate, out-source or even divest yourself of.

And that is the key.  You see the other key symptom for sufferers of schizophrenia is a sensory-gating deficit.  Mr Wiki describes sensory-gating as: “neurological processes of filtering out redundant or unnecessary stimuli in the brain [to prevent] an overload of irrelevant information”.  Basically; both individual and organisational sufferers of schizophrenic struggle to figure out what information they should be paying attention to; and what to ignore because it all comes at them at once, at the same speed, at the same volume.  Part of the treatment for schizophrenia sufferers includes improving or mitigating their sensory-gating deficit i.e. improving their ability to better decide what stimuli (information) is important.  The cure, I believe, for schizophrenic organisations is the same.  Develop a robust, even ruthless ‘information-gating’ culture with supporting policies, processes and people.  The LINQ-based information-supply-chain methodology does exactly that.  In capturing an organisation’s information-ecosystem it becomes obvious what to focus on and what to ignore.


Want to know more about how this innovative information-supply-chain methodology could bring clarity to your information and IT strategy?  We’d welcome a conversation about that. 

Click-thru to "Where’s Wally - How to cure schizophrenic organisations – Pt 2"