Management Principle: Internal Justice System

Some of the most important parts of corporate life are those that are invisible in nature. For genuine employee engagement to occur there must be an underlying culture that meets and satisfies basic human needs. Professional leadership and management literature indicates that people work best when clear boundaries are understood and cleanly applied. I hope you enjoy today’s principle on internal justice systems.

Internal Justice System - In every place where some form of hierarchy exists a de facto internal justice system will automatically emerge. It will include rules of engagement (stated or unstated), relationships to authority, and sanctions for certain behaviors (fair or unfair). In the business setting the people who will detect this reality the most are those closest to the actual work-the ones who are at the lower levels of the organization chart. This points to why it is so critical to define the culture clearly, and to apply all standards equally across the board. What applies to the line worker should also always apply to the chief executive, who is tasked to serve as the ultimate model. Companies that fail to codify and apply sound cultural principles will experience declining morale and higher turnover rates. Humans, without some form of structure, will usually default to more base behaviors. Sadly, those at highest risk are oftentimes the organization’s leaders. All of these hazards can be effectively addressed through the use of team contracts. Coaching questions: If you were to describe your culture in three adjectives, what would it reveal? Where might your culture need attention, requiring more clarity?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

*Dean Harbry is entertaining creating a second roundtable group?with the?purpose?of helping organizational leaders develop and implement a team contract. Please let me know if you are interested or know of anyone who may benefit from this process.

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