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Targeted Ire

October 24, 2009 1 comment

What we need is more people to lose their temper in public. – Watts Wacker

Aargh Matey!

When you’re dissatisified with a stagnant, risk averse, and status-quo-loving bureaucratic group, how do you blow off steam without alienating or intimidating those few people who help you do your job better and those people you are committed to helping do their jobs better? One approach, which doesn’t work but is incredibly hard to abandon , is “targeted ire“.

Targeted Ire

When I perceive smug, fat headed executives and managers (of all types) talking up a storm, sucking more out of the org than they put in, and doing nothing of substance to improve everyone’s performance, it’s hard for me to “act professionally” (lol!) and keep my freakin’ mouth shut. In the back of my tortured mind, I often hear a faint and fearful voice saying “STFU you idiot“. Sadly, I find it incredibly hard, if not impossible, to follow that advice. Besides the ever present “fear of excommunication“, I think the fact that I don’t aspire to become a self-important, meeting-loving, and game-playing corpocrat drives my self-destructive behavior. Bummer……. or not?

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli

So, how do you express your dissatisfaction with a stationary and fading organization when the world is crying out for movement and emergence? Do you do anything about it? Do you assume that you‘re powerless, ignore your passion, and force yourself to STFU? Do you put on “the mask of political correctness” such that your potentially sacred-cow-busting ideas and thoughts get obscured by all the sugar that you coat them with?  Are you paralyzed by fear? What do you advise?

Rappers And Cabbies

June 8, 2009 1 comment

Look around you. How many people in your organization are Reviewers And aPprovers  (RAPpers)? How many people are Creators And Builders (CABbies)? Which types of members are more valued by your organization?

Since managers (especially the higher up you go in the hierarchy) are most likely to be RAPpers, the odds are high that rappers are perceived to be more valuable than cabbies in your organization. Typically, the bigger the org, the more valued the rappers.

Rappers rarely have good ideas. If a rapper comes up with the occasional good idea, they usually keep it to themselves, especially if it’s too different from the norm. The risk is too high for rejection and rappers can’t have that. Rappers are too concerned about looking infallible. They have an image to uphold.

Cabbies, on the other hand, come up with all kinds of ideas, both good and bad. They are less inhibited by the need to look infallible. However, in a rapper dominated environment, most cabbies have a tough time externalizing their ideas for fear of rejection too. After all, they’re human.

When a business is created from scratch, most, if not all, the founding members are both rappers and cabbies. Because good ideas are plentiful and flow freely, the business thrives and grows for a while. However, over time, the usual consequence of growth is that more and more members transform into rappers. The conventional MBA thinking is that rappers are needed to weed out bad ideas and control growth. Fewer ideas get generated and the business starts stagnating.  In the extreme, the rappers grow to vastly outnumber the cabbies and voila, a stifling and static bureaucracy is created.

The sad thing is that every human being who walks the face of the earth is born with the innate ability to become a cabbie. However, since western societies value rappers over cabbies, most people ignore and suppress their cabbie talent. To the detriment of all, they unconsciously strive to become rappers.

Stagnation Or Growth?

April 29, 2009 Leave a comment

stagnation-and-growth

What type of system do you work in, day in and  day out? Do you work for scared managers or courageous leaders?

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