As both IVNS Raju and John Constantine note, criticizing management can
be of a far less help to an individual than an objective assesment of
the surrounding reality. Many companies today struggle with their own
definition in very basic terms: Are we fast or slow company? What
business are we in today? Do we have right people at right positions?
These questions may and should surface at every level of organization.
The fact that companies do not take pragmatic and articulated approach
to answering these questions, should be recognized by every individual
at the first place. How? Well, simply by examining how many times
recently you felt fear for losing your job or wanted desperately to
leave the company? If you think that it was to many times, than you have
to face it. If you have an idea that would lead your company into
avoiding it, share it with everybody, fight for it, present it, it will
be welcome. If you have no clue why is it happening, nor you think you
may help solving it, than hide behind your ears - you do not deserve any
If you see your idea being stormed by people who are above you, what is
highly probable, than send it to people above them. If the rule applies
up to shareholders, than they do not deserve better. Leave the company
if you can.
But, if you are afraid of sharing your ideas because of these reasons:
I'm close to retire (why would I rock the boat); Nothing would change
anyway; It's not my job to do it; Some of my friends would not like it;
Things may come the way it was.... Then PLEASE, restrain yourself from
criticizing anybody in your company, family, on the road, in your
dreams. Please accept: you are for sure taking place that belongs to
somebody else; and do not dare to vent your frustration on your kids or
your spouse. You are a cancer of society, and please keep feeling
I remember a story about the PASS (Problem Analyzing Solution Seeking)
rule applied to very knowledgable bunch of development engineers, where
they were also asked to articulate their ideas through the LAB (Logic,
Arrows and Boxes) modeling discipline. It led them to communicate using
elementary tools, feel obliged to provide an alternative for every
critique of a model, and improved their project lead times dramatically.
It may apply everywhere. You have to earn a PASSport for the company's
LAB of ideas, and then stick to the rules, in order to feel good about
your company. I wish Spaniards, French and Britons had patience to
explain to every single native American what did gold mean to them.
Clash between "management culture" and "worker culture" is a constant of
our time. Both are changing through flood of words like leadership,
quality, teams, coaching, learning, co-whatever... but in my mind they
did not move in majority of companies an inch away from clear taylorism.
Whichever culture you end up adopting, bear in mind: Gold is ussualy not
where it is thought to be, but if you don't seek for it, you will never
Steelcase Canada Ltd.
Vasco Drecun <email@example.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>