Several decades ago, scientists observed an interesting phenomenon — the amount of sunshine reaching the Earth’s surface started to decline. We quickly determined the dimming was attributed to an increase in air pollution.
Industrialization creates air pollution and air pollution limits the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface. This trend is called Global Dimming.
And it’s not good.
The same thing happens to organizations as they begin to grow. The need to achieve — previously unfamiliar — differentiated business objectives creates organizational pollution. A little pollution is OK and is a sign of progress; a lot of pollution has detrimental side effects.
As the pollution grows stronger, so does the organizational entropy. The increased disorder creates Organizational Dimming. Left unchecked, Organizational Dimming can lead to Organizational
Good ideas get stopped dead in their tracks.
Star employees get stopped dead in their tracks.
And values — the same ones that define the vision of the organization — no longer matter.
Global Dimming eventually reversed in some parts of the world. The factories originally responsible for much of the initial smog cleaned up their act.
And we can do the same.
Organizational Dimming can be reduced as the business becomes more efficient, keeps values in check, and rewards great ideas.
It can also be completely avoided by choosing to stay focused on what truly matters.
Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.