xxxxv) need to be careful of patronising discourse of senior management

who do not allow or discourage others' conflicting points of view. In fact, in some situations disagreeing has resulting in people being 'disadvantaged quite seriously', eg an enforced career change!!! It is claimed (Jemima Whyte, 2016a) that the basis for this can be found in an education system that encourages agreeing and discourages disagreement, ie like having a national curriculum with the rigid assessment system where

"...the assessment tail is wagging the curriculum dog..."

John Vallance as quoted by Jemima Whyte, 2016a

Similarly in organisations, the measurement system can be likened to the dog's tail wagging the organisation's performance.

Linked with an unbalanced approach are

- oversimplifying complicated elements that can result in 'one-size-fits-all' or a 'cookie cutter' approach or 'dumbing down to the lowest common denomination' or 'tick the box' syndrome.

- confusing education and training; where education involves learning to apply critical and challenging thought, ie a range of opportunities; while training is upgrading your expertise or learning a new skill. At the heart of true education is encouraging people to constructively disagree, ie allowing people to be courteously insubordinate.

- over-quantifying things, ie practice of measuring everything

"...we love numbers, we love quantifying things, and most scientists will tell you, if you measure things in the wrong way, you will destroy them..."

John Vallance as quoted by Jemima Whyte, 2016a

- the notion that everything should be fun or entertaining

xxxxvi) need to understand the world in terms of dominance and alliance, ie power, rather than beliefs and desires, ie ideas

xxxxvii) living in the past. Using history to understand your present situation, ie finding the future in the past. However, history does not necessarily repeat itself, so don't live in the past!!!!!

xxxxviii) need to do more than just measure, record, etc

"...You don't fatten the pig by weighing it..."

Callaghan Innovation as quoted by CMI, 2020

It is what you do with the results of the measurements that is important.

xxxxix) need to calculate dollar values on intangibles/indirect/qualitative like soft skills (communications, relationships, stress, well-being, culture, work environment, etc). It is easier to put financial figures on tangibles/direct/qualitative like technical improvements, etc than the intangible ones. As most senior decision-makers have a technical and/or accounting background, they prefer facts and figures and can struggle to understand the benefits of the intangibles.

xxxxx) need to understand the uniqueness of your organisation/division/unit. This can make comparisons with others, like in benchmarking of limited use. It is better to know what you need to focus on in your organisation, ie what is important, rather than comparing yourself with somebody else whose situation is most likely different.

xxxxxi) need to ask the right questions, ie questions about causes and fewer about symptoms.

xxxxxii) not understanding the different expertise required in change as opposed to operating the organisation

xxxxiii) routines. Too often you get stuck in the daily routines (for more detail, see elsewhere in Knowledge Base)

 

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