End your tasks, end your job?

One reason for organizational paralysis is that it’s easy to believe that if your tasks go away, your job goes away.

If you’re the district manager for the Yukon Territory and the company stops serving the Yukon, you’re going to get fired, aren’t you? If you are the product manager for the evangelical market and it’s determined that this market isn’t growing fast enough, what’s going to happen to you?

It’s no wonder, then, that groupthink and politics and natural defenses kick in every time strategy is discussed.

The thing is, in most organizations, when the Yukon gets shut down, the district manager does get laid off. Big mistake.

As soon as management starts conflating people with tasks, they’ve  guaranteed that the organization is going to get stuck. Probably soon. A better plan: rotate your people and continually reward and promote and challenge them. Make a big deal when someone makes the case for shutting down her task. Make it really clear through your actions that tasks come and go, but good people stay.