The Elimination of Uncertainty: the engine of enclosure

The elimination of uncertainty ethos is what drives the cancer of “enclosure” at the heart of organisational practice. Enclosure is the accelerative and intensifying process in play when good organisations go bad and when bad organisations get worse. When left unchallenged, enclosure spreads, it deepens, and it corrodes the core cultural supports of your organisation, among them productivity, employee engagement, creativity, and trust. When this happens, it is “business as usual” that makes the unhelpful difference. Following the principles of the Cultural Climate Framework, an enclosing cultural climate comes with what I call the Organisational Enclosure Triad – an environment saturated with the elimination of uncertainty ethos tends also to be characterized by chronic heightened intensity, and by chronic heightened directivity. While there are many more features of enclosing cultural climates, these are the core drivers of unhelpful change within an organisational culture. These features, more than any others, are what will most affect the relational climate of the organisation.

One the difficulties within a business environment is that the three elements of the organisational enclosure triad are frequently to be found in the heart of workaday orthodoxy in accepted business practice. The logics of the triad are embedded within the language, habits, norms, and rules of much standard and recommended business practice. The challenge isn’t eliminating the presence of these elements, but in minimising their impact within the workplace.

It is important to note that while the “elimination” of uncertainty is to be avoided, the reduction of uncertainty is to be welcomed. Similarly, while chronic heightened intensity is to be avoided, occasional intensity at appropriate times is to be welcomed. And while chronic heightened directivity could lead to all sorts of problems, occasional directive strategic interventions might sometimes be very appropriate. It’s about avoiding the extremes of elimination, intensity, and directivity without throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Organisational Enclosure Triad redux

http://www.anthonymccann.com

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4 thoughts on “The Elimination of Uncertainty: the engine of enclosure

  1. Not sure if you are interested, but there have been a bunch of French philosophers working on this issue at the political level: communities that are strong yet open to diversity (well, that is one tiny aspect). Key sources: Kristeva, Nations Without Nationalism. Blanchot, Unavowable Community. J-L Nancy, Inoperative Community. Lingis, Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common. And from a different perspective (fascistic & totalizing strategy in literature): Carroll, French Literary Fascism. Hewitt, Fascist Modernism. I would read Kristeva and Blanchot before Nancy (his work is most informed by Heidegger and so the most difficult of these to read. I read these in school (20 years ago) and now want to re-read to better understand and manage organizational culture and team dynamics. Your page here was sent to me by Chris Corrigan. Cheers.

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