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Essential concinnity

Posted: 01 Jul 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:concinnity? empowerment? career? management? employee?

Chatting: Concinnity is the harmony of logic and parts, which together create an elegant whole.

Concinnity is a word you will not come across much in everyday use. If the word itself is close to being obsolete, we should hope that the situation it describes is more robust. But with the failure of many human institutions in the business, social and political worlds, one may be doubtful of its continued good health. Concinnity means the harmony of logic and parts, which together create an elegant whole. The best organizations have it and others struggle to achieve it. You will find evidence of it in successful marriages, sports teams, armies, companies and in every human activity except in the solitary behavior of solitary people.

In every organization, there will be a lack of alignment and a consequent inability to achieve intended results. Even when the quality of individuals is unquestioned, successful outcome will often be uncertain.

The characteristic of a lack of alignment in a team is wasted energy. Individuals may work exceptionally hard, but if part of their effort is to overcome the misalignment, or personal power of others, they will do so inefficiently. One could also say that well-intentioned supplementation of a group's resources through the introduction of a strong and capable individual would be detrimental to achieving objectives. A varied group of lesser quality people if totally aligned will be more productive than not just a group of brilliant prima donnas, but also a group of similarly sharp and qualified individuals.

Empowerment is one of the most effective aspects of people management. Empowerment prior to alignment is one of the easiest ways to sink the collective ship, and brings an almost impossible management task. Alignment behind a common purpose and vision, with an understanding of how to complement the strengths of the group, is a precondition to empowerment.

To bring about alignment of understanding, purpose and objective, each member of the group must know what he can count on from the other members and, in turn, must be known for what others can expect of him. Alignment has to be accompanied by trust. Except in places where social conditions predetermine a "them-and-us" attitude in the workplace, most employees want to work for the good of the organization that sustains them, if there is a climate of mutual trust and respect. Mutual trust comes through an acceptance of the intrinsic worth of people. Developing and nurturing this attitude is one of a manager's or team leader's key responsibilities, and reducing the differences in the perception of the organization or group one of the bigger challenges.

There is no magic wand to command concinnity, but through alignment built on trust most institutions can start to reap its benefits.

- Philip Chatting

Global Sources

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