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The Death of Development, Part II
Dubai master-developer Nakheel, which aimed for the stars with iconic projects, prepares for a dramatic restructuring, reports Trends. Part II.
January 13, 2010 4:01 by Edmund Sheen
The idea behind NDG was to solve problems related to each project, but reportedly none of the business units got around to understanding its role. Unsurprisingly, the model never really worked and the mantra “I don’t know what they do” was a common refrain within the organization.
That highlights another tragic flaw of Nakheel – a lack of a centralized human resource policy. Each business unit had its own team in charge of recruitment. They would simply recruit more people whenever anything had to be fixed.
“In several departments, there were external and internal consultants who eventually became full-time employees. At the same time, consultants were also seconded to different business units,” confirms another source.
According to him, consultants were just making recommendations based on their assessment of the situation and were, at best, those who could give a critical outlook on what was going on.
But when things began to get out of hand, about 40 percent of these consultants were fired as well. The irrationality reflected in the firing of staff is raised by several of Nakheel’s former employees.
“You don’t downsize experienced staff, you downsize those that aren’t mission critical. But they were cutting off the organs and lifeblood of the organization and not the dead matter,” says one Nakheel staffer who was shown the door by the firm.
He said a lack of checks and balances were making things worse. “It isn’t that those checks and balances did not exist. They were probably not strict enough to ensure continuity during adverse circumstances,” he says.
Unfortunately, according to him, the company is blaming people who acted based upon their understanding of logical business process.
“They were blamed for not following the system. Well, the system wasn’t there in the first place. So how can you blame them when things don’t go according to plan?”