Episode transcript The transcript is generated automatically by Podscribe.
Ricardo (4s): Hello, everyone. Welcome to the five minutes PM podcast today. I like to share with you one conversation that I had with my great friend in an amazing project manager from Germany, Thomas Valenta, we, are colleagues on a volunteer in PMI, and we were discussing about organizational structure in the social structure. Remember when you were selected to lead a project or a product development, please, I'm not talking here about using waterfall or agile, It doesn't matter. But you were invited to lead a transformation or to be a massive change agent in the organization. And then you suddenly receive a box in the org chart and the box, said, who's your boss, who are your peers who work for you, right?
Ricardo (51s): And you immediately say, okay. So I need to ask permission from this person. I need to direct work to these people. And then if you stop it there, let me tell you your life we'll be miserable because there is another structure that lays to behind this one that is not very easy to draw. It's what we call this social structure. And what is the social structure is the connection among people inside your organization that are not necessarily based on their roles or their power in the organization.
Ricardo (1m 31s): Their formal power. It's much more on what do they share in common? What do they do not share in common? So for example, let's suppose people with common interests. So then they play soccer, they play football in the weekend, and then when you need some help. What happens? Sometimes you go and sell, Oh, my friend, you need to help me to get to that. These are social relations. And this happens everywhere in every country in every single culture and this social structure is based on personal values and based on the cognitive bias that every single no one has.
Ricardo (2m 11s): So it's basic on the love, the hate, you know, competition, competition for power jealous, you know, affair people that went to the same school, people that work in the same field. So this is what brings the social structure. So let me give you two examples. So imagine you and your son or your daughter. So technically and legally, you are the guardian of your children. If they are, I'm expecting, they are below and mandatory age for an adult. That for example, in Brazil, and Europe, it's 18 years old. So you are legally responsible, but at the same time, you're a father or a mother.
Ricardo (2m 53s): So what happens every time you give an instruction, you do not necessarily use your formal power, but try to convince. And this is why it's so hard to work with family members. Why it's so hard because it's not easy to have a clear cut on what is job and what is relationship. So sometimes you have some disagreement in the work, and then during dinner time, you continue this disagreement and you bring it home or the opposite. So it's very, very important because we cannot escape from that. We need just to be very mindful and aware. So sometimes you just receive a job, but if you are not aware of the relationship between your boss and the peers of your boss, you may have challenges because it may be that your boss and your, CFO, chief, financial officer, they do not go along.
Ricardo (3m 47s): And this is why sometimes you have such a hard time to get your projects and your budget approved. So this is very simple. So these basic relationships. Imagine your company, if the owner of the CEO or the CEO of your company put his or her daughter or son as an intern in your area, technically in terms of the box on the org chart, he or she is really, really at a low level, but it will be the best-writen intern in your company because you are not dumb, you are smart enough to understand that at home at dinner time, he or she can and say, Oh, dad or mom, look what happened.
Ricardo (4m 30s): That project is having trouble So you will treat differently despite the organizational chart does not show that relationship. So what you need to do every time you get to a new assignment, every time that you need to spend time in, this Stakeholder Management to understand how the connections, the social connections unfold, and how you can manage them in a good way to deliver. Look, I'm not telling you that, okay, stop, work, and start mingling with people know it's not that, but be mindful about that connection's because they will reflect on the way you delivered the work on how will you get people on board and how people will resist or support your ideas.
Ricardo (5m 17s): And by doing that, you will increase your chances to deliver. Again, I'm not talking that you should beaut fake social relations because being fake is not first.It's not ethical. And second, it is not what drives success because it's very hard to lie on social connections. It is very easy to lye or to say things you don't believe when you are in a form of public state, but at some point, you know, like this big brother, you know, this TV shows that when people are confined it in a place, over time, they show who they really are, because impossible for you to hide and become something you or not 24 x 7.
Ricardo (5m 59s): So don't try to fake something you are not, because it will not help you, but understanding will help you to guide to better decisions in an absolutely ethical way. If you do not understand these underlining social connections, you will have a hard time to get things done and to move from that idea into reality in the results that matter to you and to your company and your society. So I hope you find this podcast useful and see you next week, with another five minutes PM podcast.