Parallel Processes And Their Effects In Your Organization


    Parallel Process and their effects in your organization. The work necessary to integrate a change into a large organization can be massive. It is likely there will be more processes working concurrently than previously and that the frequency with which they operate will greatly increase. There will be many issues that have to be resolved for the entire organization. These issues are now raised and turned into actions. You must now identify the people to do the deliberations.

    Parallel business process: When activities in a business process are executed in parallel, they are carried out simultaneously.

    In 1989, Kenwyn Smith published a study entitled “Fix the Women”, describing a consulting situation characterized by fighting between two women in a troubled unit of a state hospital. After assessing the behaviors, the researchers determined the women’s hostility was actually fueled by feelings of competitiveness among the three senior men in the unit.

    This is a phenomenon called parallel process thinking: when the dynamics of one system are picked up and enacted by another system. In this case, the competitive dynamics of the men in the hospital unit fueled the conflict between these two women.

    On an organizational level, parallel processing is data. Smith’s study, “Fixing the Women”, shows that visible behaviors are not always the cause of conflict. In fact, it was really about addressing and fixing the dynamics of a smaller system within the organization: the men in a different department. When these consultants recognized the dynamics at play, they were able to make significant changes in the organization.

    If your company is going through major organizational change, you may want to hone in on the patterns of behaviors of those around you as well as your own actions. This heightened awareness of the parallel process may very well lead you through your biggest organizational challenges.



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