Heat can destroy a mechanism. Mechanical engineers finely design machines so that oil can be fed automatically or manually to the moving parts, to prevent friction and eventual breakdown. Electrical engineers carefully work to engineer out what they call “noise” in the system. This “noise” causes heat in the electrical circuitry and eventually breaks down and destroys the equipment, causing malfunctions.
Manufacturers and designers of equipment will tell you that it is very easy to prevent the heat. Better design, proper maintenance, special processes, and training are only a fraction of the possible solutions.
Heat in human systems is very similar. Lack of communication and lack of knowing what you are supposed to do causes heat. Interpersonal heat, also called friction, is a major source of interpersonal sparks. Heat ruins interpersonal and organizational systems. The number of organizations that have gone bankrupt because of “heat in the system,” such as unresolved conflict or unidentified friction, is legendary.
Better organizational design, interpersonal processes, and training will often prevent these costly blow-ups. SSCA can help you customize the right approach for your org.
Things to Consider:
- What sources of heat are potential causes of conflict in your organization?
- What are the maintenance procedures you will follow to ensure you have a “well-oiled machine,” where individuals are highly productive and can perform their functions well?