Key Employees and Officers - How much conflict is tolerable?

K

Ka Pilo

#1
I know that lack of appropriate segregation of duties of key employees and officers involved in the process can create a breakdown of the control environment. However, it seems like a good idea to put people in multiple roles due to financial logic though rarely found hats fit on one head at the same time I think. So my question is "How much conflict is tolerable?"
 
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S

SuperGirl

#3
Tolerability is established by those that have the authority and ability to do so.

Tolerability isn't quantifable...."How much can you take/stand/accept?"
I agree with Randy. Working for a small company, many of us have different hats that we have to wear, some people have more then others because they can handle more. For example, I handle all of our Quality and Regulatory items as well as International Logistics, and assist our Product Developement Team. Where as another employee only does purchasing, beause that is all they are willing to do. It all depends on what each person is willing to do.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#4
I know that lack of appropriate segregation of duties of key employees and officers involved in the process can create a breakdown of the control environment. However, it seems like a good idea to put people in multiple roles due to financial logic though rarely found hats fit on one head at the same time I think. So my question is "How much conflict is tolerable?"
I tend to agree with Deming's theory of a System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) which posits that organizations run better with more widespread knowledge and "involvement" in organization processes.

What you suggest here is that "silos" are a good business practice and hardly any modern business strategists agree with that concept.

When EVERYONE understands the role his/her contributions make in the overall success of the organization, the only "conflicts" might arise when one or more persons notice an individual or department slacking off and thus directly affecting the success of the organization and other persons (colleagues, suppliers, customers, regulators.)
 
C

Chance

#5
I want to share with you a real situation of mine where the QM (me) wants to discuss process gaps with the process owner. I highlighted the gaps and told the process owner that it should have been avoided. Guess what, I was in big trouble. The process owner thought that I was stepping the line telling him what to do. He filed a complaint and it really affect my evaluation. In my case, I think I was wrong. Any idea for how I am going to improve. Yes I created a conflict but to be honest, I was not thinking that I told him what to do. It was unintentional. It sucks but I learned from my mistakes and thought it is connected to this topic.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#6
I want to share with you a real situation of mine where the QM (me) wants to discuss process gaps with the process owner. I highlighted the gaps and told the process owner that it should have been avoided. Guess what, I was in big trouble. The process owner thought that I was stepping the line telling him what to do. He filed a complaint and it really affect my evaluation. In my case, I think I was wrong. Any idea for how I am going to improve. Yes I created a conflict but to be honest, I was not thinking that I told him what to do. It was unintentional. It sucks but I learned from my mistakes and thought it is connected to this topic.
It might have been the difference of saying "should" instead of "could" -in "should," one comes across as an obtrusive interferer; in "could," it seems more like a helpful colleague.

If the guy seemed miffed at the time, the whole thing might have blown over with, "I'm sorry. I was only trying to help, not tell you how to do your job."

Long ago I learned the guy who wrote "
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" had the right idea:
  • share everything
  • play fair
  • don't hit people
  • put things back where you found them
  • clean up your own mess
  • don't take things that aren't yours
  • say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
  • wash your hands before you eat
  • flush
  • warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
  • live a balanced life - learn some and think and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
  • take a nap every afternoon
  • when you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together
  • Wonder. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup. . .
  • goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the seed in the cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned - LOOK!
As I look back over a long life, I realize more and more that almost every problem I've ever had can be traced back to violating one of those precepts I also learned in kindergarten back in the 40's. One big one is "share everything" - I think it's really the basis of Deming's SoPK.


 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#7
I want to share with you a real situation of mine where the QM (me) wants to discuss process gaps with the process owner. I highlighted the gaps and told the process owner that it should have been avoided. Guess what, I was in big trouble. The process owner thought that I was stepping the line telling him what to do. He filed a complaint and it really affect my evaluation. In my case, I think I was wrong. Any idea for how I am going to improve. Yes I created a conflict but to be honest, I was not thinking that I told him what to do. It was unintentional. It sucks but I learned from my mistakes and thought it is connected to this topic.
You can't just walk up to someone and tell him he has an ugly baby and expect good things to follow. Ask a person for a little bit of time to discuss the process and learn more about it. Take advantage of an opportunity to learn and to share your knowledge. Ask where the process owner thinks there might be gaps. He might just tell you what you got in trouble for asking him. If there are ways to improve things, guide the discussion in such a way that the person ends up thinking it was his idea.
 
J

JaneB

#8
Yes I created a conflict but to be honest, I was not thinking that I told him what to do. It was unintentional. It sucks but I learned from my mistakes and thought it is connected to this topic.
Good for you for learning from your mistakes. As you recognised, although 'unintentional', your actions didn't have good results. Very few people deliberately set out intending to cause harm or to get poor results. But most of us have had the experience of gettingi t wrong.

Part of getting wiser/learning to do it better is to stop and think before acting or opening one's mouth:
  • what are the results or outcomes that I want here?
  • what will the likely result be if I adopt xyz course of action? (if in doubt, ask yourself how you might react) and will that get me where I want to go?
And I speak as one who's got it wrong plenty of times in the past, particularly on the telling people what's wrong... doesn't work really well.

And if you turn out to be wrong (thought it would work, but it didn't), figuring out why it went wrong and how you might do it better next time.

Not everyone takes the time for this kind of reflection. Those who do, grow and become better. Sounds like you're one of them.:agree1:
 
J

JaneB

#9
I realize more and more that almost every problem I've ever had can be traced back to violating one of those precepts I also learned in kindergarten back in the 40's.
Hmm.
I know this kind of simplistic stuff can seem amusingly attractive on a superficial level, but the idea that anyone 'learned all they need to know in kindergarten' inspires not a few reactions in me, of which unequivocal appreciation and agreement are definitely not included.

I think the grown up world of work requires a little more than that kind of 'don't hit people... warm cookies and milk are good for you' etc. At least from where I stand.
 
J

JaneB

#10
Working for a small company, many of us have different hats that we have to wear, some people have more then others because they can handle more. For example, I handle all of our Quality and Regulatory items as well as International Logistics, and assist our Product Developement Team. Where as another employee only does purchasing, beause that is all they are willing to do. It all depends on what each person is willing to do.
Good point. In smaller companies, people often have to wear a number of different hats, whereas as a companiy grows, it is often less desirable and less efficient to have different people doing a bit of lots of things.

Regardless of size, however, there remains a need for leadership (to set the goals, assess performance, and promote acceptable culture/behaviour) and the requirements in a quality management system to define and communicate responsibilities and to ensure competency. If those are in place, why would conflict arise? Or, if it did, why would it not be dealt with rapidly and efficiently?
 
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