Too Many Managers

Too many managers and not enough leaders, ie management's responsibility is to minimise risk, to keep the current system operating and to keep things under control, while change by definition requires modification of the current system and/or the creation of a new vision by leaders

. Less than 75% of senior management being supportive of the transition

. A currently successful organisation, ie staff need to be convinced that there is a need for a change

. Systems and personalities which do not allow for frank discussion of potentially unpleasant facts ie in order to gain acceptance of the opinion that the status quo is more perilous than launching into the unknown, it may be prudent to use outside elements such as experts, consultants, stockmarkets, customer surveys, etc

. Ineffectual information systems that are able to be manipulated, and restriction on information distribution to staff

. Change implementers overestimate their ability to facilitate big changes, or underestimate the difficulty of driving people outside their comfort zone. Thus

"...It is therefore likely that proposals to deliberately change the culture from either inside or outside would be totally ignored or strongly resisted. Instead, dominant members or coalitions will attempt to preserve and enhance the culture..."

Edgar Schein, 2004

. Sense of urgency is too "negative" and/or "personal"

. Looking for internal scapegoats and/or external excuses

. The avoidance of conflict ‐ despite its cost (human and organisational), conflict is an essential fuel for self-questioning and revitalisation

. Once things start to get better, people start to believe the worst is over, and drift back to old ways and habits

. Management's preoccupation with "empire preservation"and "personal agendas"leads them to neglect the critical issues that the organisation needs to face

. Too many silos/fiefdoms/cocoons/stovepipes, ie a culture of respecting each other's turf and not trespassing on that patch

. The existence of a "say yes, do no"ethos, ie indirectly killing off an issue. This can be described as "vicious compliance or kiss of yes", ie only pay lip service to the change process

. An unreasonably high regard for independence and autonomy ‐ as a result, confrontations are rare and conflict is camouflaged, and so learning from each other is a rare event

. A limited rewards system, ie rewarded for not making mistakes (not encouraged to be creative or innovative)

. Have survived many previous "near death experiences"

. Lack of motivation to change. The treatment of alcoholism, drug addition and weight loss all require a strong desire to change and a positive, rather than negative motivation from the sufferer. Remember:

"...change driven by fear or avoidance most likely is not going to last......change driven by hope and aspiration, that's pursued because it's desired, will be more enduring..."

Richard Boyatzis as quoted by AFRBoss, 2004


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