xviii) Us And Them Attitude

An "us and them" attitude develops between the transitional team and the rest of the organisation. As a team spends more time together, they develop their own unique way of operating and can unwittingly distance themselves from the rest of the organisation. Dynamics on both sides of the gulf reinforce this isolation, and make the gap wider. Both sides feel an almost irresistible pressure to defend themselves. They are right, the other side is wrong. If the transitional team stumbles, this is evidence against it. On the other hand, its success will be seen as an implicit criticism of more established ways of working. Either way, the team finds itself increasingly at odds with the larger organisation, and can develop a "siege mentality", ie unappreciated and misunderstood. Thus the challenge for both the transitional team and organisation in general is how can the transitional team and organisation remain attuned to fringe and counter-intuitive ideas and perceptions, without risking its core values?

Thus it is important for members of the transition team to keep their current jobs in the organisation.

. Change initiatives require new ways of thinking and visibly different forms of behaviour. When viewed from the transitional team's perspective, these new behaviours are valued expressions of new learning capabilities. On the other hand, from the perspective of individuals embedded in traditional organisational cultures, they can be very threatening. The transitional team is less concerned about the organisation's traditional measures or symbols of success. As the transitional team's own confidence grows, arrogance can increase, the latter can appear as "mirror kissing" or

"...legends in their own minds or lunch boxes..."

and lower the capacity for engagement with the rest of the organisation. To succeed, the transitional team has to increase involvement, understanding and engagement from the rest of the organisation so that any sign of critical disapproval from the rest of the organisation does not develop.

. Too much zeal ‐ the more personal and business results the transitional team achieves, the more arrogant and intolerant the transitional team appears to the rest of the organisation.

. Too much isolation - the deeper and more effective changes are, the more conflicts will arise between the transitional team and the rest of the organisation. The more people do change, the more different they become in thinking and acting from the mainstream culture. The more the transitional team succeeds in producing significant advances in practical results, the more potentially threatening the transitional team becomes to others competing with the rest of the organisation for management attention and reward.

. Not learning and understanding how to influence people who disagree with the transitional team's point of view, and not recognizing that learning to change others will mean changing the team's attitudes and behaviours first. Rigid views or noble certainties must be discontinued in order to see things from another's point of view, and to develop a meaningful dialogue: these element are vital for the change process to remain effective


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