To pick up where I left off in my response to Wayne's introduction
and question regarding "decision making":
One of the possibilities is to use Lotus Notes and/or hypertext
and/or some other medium (ie whiteboard posting in a public room) to
register and display the historic and current state of a dialogue
process which is leading to a decision. This would preferably have a
specified end date (or condition) at which time the decision will be
made and possibly the person(s) and process by which it will be made.
In this way, anyone who is interested can access the current level of
development and contribute to it if they wish.
The issues that I think are important is that people know what is
occurring that might affect them - with the responsibility on them to
seek out that information from accessible means - and that people
have something to say in the process. (This is different than that
what they say will necessarily impact the final result.)
The record should be maintained for some time after a decision so
that people can study (deconstruct?) how decisions are actually
occurring and learn to have more impact or even just understanding if
they desire to pursue mastery in participation and contribution.
Can the old line managers make the change? Of course. Will they?
That may take some time, some support and some generosity. Some will
choose not to. My experience is the choice not to "transform" is
mainly due to lack of skill on the part of those who are offerring
the possibility. However, if the process is transparent, then it is
a choice and up to each to make it for him/her self.
The issue of generosity is important for me. I love the old
reactionary managers. Many have a real love for the people they
manage. Unfortunately, their ways are suited to older times and
usually brutalised some of the workforce. That was a necessary
result when force of personality was almost everything that was
available to produce results with people.
The young professional "transfomers" haven't been there and don't
seem to have the eyes and ears to see beyond the surface - of the
person or the language or the practices. These youngsters (some of
whom aren't so young) also fail to appreciate the historical roots of
the "way it is". That is, the way it is arose from the function of a
system. These old managers and supervisors have developed the way
they have in response to a system that they were not the creators or
I find that if you can love these people, respect and appreciate
them, they transform quite rapidly. Especially if your can bring
humour to the job.
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk