We have a problem in Division A. Leaders are not doing their job. Leaders are not living the values. Some people don’t get it. I’ve seen cases of X. I am afraid that Y is spreading. Z is a problem. Division B has become bureaucratic. Group C is a nightmare, nobody talks to each other. There is a lot of frustration in Section D. I’ve seen gross failure of leadership in that management team.
I’m sure you get the picture, because you’ve seen this many times. Unqualified, sweeping generalisations, launched in some sort of assumed fertile territory where they will be listened to. Usually negative, of course.
In fact, we are so used to these that they are hardly challenged: whom are you talking about? Everybody? Everyday? How widespread is the spread? Who is frustrated? Who is not living the values? Does ‘failure of leadership’ have names and surnames? Who says?
The default position is to ignore or produce some strange sound in return, or magic nodding, or be too ready to agree, prolonging the sweeping generalisation.
It’s hard to call out, to challenge. But it is the only serious thing to do. Throwing orphan grenades into the field will only create holes and little, or not so little, destruction of the organizational fabric.
It is a sign of a healthy culture to call out people making these statements. And this would be a behaviour that is as spreadable as it’s opposite. All it takes is that some people start the visible challenge (explain, please; who? this is not how I see it) for others to copy as well.
Caught in friendly fire within your own culture is the worst form of casualty. And sweeping generalisations seem to be a strong brand of grenades.
Managing the Covid-19 pandemic using Viral Change™ principles. 12 Rules you can apply.
Read Dr Leandro Herrero’s in-depth, thought provoking article which addresses the non-medical management of the pandemic through the lenses of large scale behavioural and cultural change principles, as practised by the Viral Change™ Mobilizing Platform for the last 20 years, in the area of organizational change.
A viral epidemic for which there is no immediate cure, only ways of managing it, can only be controlled by a counter behavioural epidemic.
Dr Leandro Herrero is the CEO and Chief Organization Architect of The Chalfont Project, an international firm of organizational architects. He is the pioneer of Viral ChangeTM, a people Mobilizing Platform, a methodology that delivers large scale behavioural and cultural change in organizations, which creates lasting capacity for changeability.
Dr Herrero is also an Executive Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Organization, Drucker School of Management. An international speaker, Dr Herrero is available for virtual speaking engagements and can be reached at: The Chalfont Project.
His latest book, The Flipping point – Deprogramming Management, is available at all major online bookstores.