Friday, March 22, 2019

Inconvenience and Management

An organization that is one of my clients occupies a large and very nice building that has one significant omission: it does not have a coffee shop. There's a restaurant that is relatively close but it is not the sort of place one slips into for just a cup of coffee and its service is slow. I believe the lack of a nearby coffee shop where people can pop in for quick meetings reduces informal communication and relationship-building. That gap can be enormously important.

Likewise, another client farms out all of its legal work to a highly-respected law firm. There are benefits to that approach but, once again, the inconvenience factor arises. Managers who want to get a quick off-the-cuff legal opinion can't just walk down the hall or to another floor to chat with a lawyer co-worker. They have to contact the outside law firm which in itself is inconvenient. Doing so may even require the approval of their boss. As a result, they don't get legal guidance until a crisis has arrived. If they have made mistakes in the interim due to the lack of timely legal advice, that delay may be very costly.

Watch out for the subtle ways in which the organization can be affected. Bricks, mortar, and distance can affect communication.

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