Friday, October 31, 2014

Load-Bearing Walls

If you are a fan of the DIY home renovation shows on TV, you learn a lot about the challenges of taking an existing structure and trying to make something modern, new, and different of it. It's a very unique design challenge, much different than modifying a logo, remaking a song, or even reconstructing a classical theatrical piece. In the world of home design, poor, or misguided, modifications can be disastrous. One of the common problems - constraints, especially on many of these DIY TV shows, is the concept of load-bearing walls. It's amazing to me how an entire house is held together by a handful of walls that allow all other things to take place in a home. The same fundamentals can be applied to other constructions, even the structure of an organization.

In my pondering and meditations, mostly centered on analyzing the organizations I work with daily, I realized how all organizations are held up by a handful of people. These staffers serve the same purpose as load-bearing walls, in that they are necessary for the entire structure to function properly. I am sure you can think of many situations where the most unassuming person at your company left, or was forced out, and things fell apart. Often, the situation became costly, requiring the organization to hire three or four people, just to replace that on "unnecessary" person - unbeknownst at the time as load-bearing wall.

I can't cover all the details of this concept, but I will briefly share a few thoughts on the characteristics of load-bearing walls in home construction and load-bearing walls in organizational structures.

  1. The majority of the structure's energy is connected to them.
  2. They are rigid by design, given all other things depend on their stability.
  3. They often appear unnecessary or unattractive in comparison to cosmetic features.
  4. They allow other, more appealing, structures become flexible, and in turn appear to have the most functionality.
  5. The consist of less than 10% of the total items present to constitute the structure.

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