This afforded him the opportunity to observe a wide range of corporate environments and provided him with valuable insight into the internal dynamics of a large professional firm.
Specifically, it offered him a view into the stratified organizational structure typical of the Game. The partners, the principles of the firm, occupied the higher strata, with all the remaining levels of professional, from auditor through to the managers, were clustered together in the next rung. Finally, the support staff occupied the lowest strata. This caste system had a profound impact on the corporate culture of the firm creating an environment which was highly political and aggressively competitive.
By narrowly defining an organization’s mandate and compartmentalizing it into small, controllable subroutines which are easy to replicate, we are squandering the potential of the employees’ ingenuity and creativity. Also, it does little to promote a warm congenial environment in the workplace. This then leads to absenteeism, poor performance and high turnover.
His experiences there led him to develop an alternative approach to value for money auditing, Bottoms Up! Auditing. Stressing flow over compliance, it was remarkably successful in eliciting the insights from the front line stuff who are directly involved in the delivery of the service. This ‘going into the trenches approach’ broke down the usual resistance encountered by the auditor, encouraging a more collegial, horizontal relationship between auditors and the client staff.
His passion now is to help organizations stop playing ‘the Game’.
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