Are you taking on “organizational debt”?

This past week I was introduced to the term “technical debt”. Essentially, this represents the sum of the compromises made during the life-cycle of a project caused by both internal and external forces.  

Conceptually, I see this same issue in organizational development. How many times do we take short-cuts on a day-to-day basis with people?  These can be either or small or large issues that we tend to ignore for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that people issues tend to be the best examples of a “wicked problem” which means they are not easy to solve and each one is unique and requires time & effort we may not want to expend.

I guess there are 2 questions to answer:

  1. Are you highly leveraged (in regards to organizational debt)?
  2. What is your plan to work yourself out of it?  (You know it will not just go away)

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Filed under Complexity, Leadership

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