Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Corporate Speak continues...

Today, I saw an article that said "Who is Learning From You?" that talked of the ever popular brain drain of the baby boomers leaving the workplace and yet also had a different twist. It said that organizations... every organization is in one of four stages:

1. Building and creating
2. Managing their organization
3. Defending why it is no longer growing
4. Blaming someone else for why it is not growing

I had to laugh as it seemed so true and it also seems to apply to the stages that we experience as leaders. When we are building and creating something, often identified by the use of the words, "on boarding" or "building strawmen" or some other such drivel, we are eager to bring others with us.

When we are managing stuff, often described as "rallying the troops" or "assimilating" or "dipping into the culture", we get into the thinking that people can be managed as easily as stuff and we begin to call them human resources or human capital.

When things stop growing and we experience "slow growth", a "downturn", or a "stabilization period", we begin to defend our own errors, cease asking for help for fear of showing a weakness and defend directions that we think we have communicated clearly.

When things go south, as we are seeing in many organizations right now, leaders look for blame and rarely are they looking at the three fingers pointed back at themselves when one is outstreched. Heads will roll, people begin to pay and we experience the use of words such as "freeing up for new opportunities", "right sizing", or "Liberating team members"

My big question is this... contagious leaders.... do you experience these stages first or does the organization experience them first and then we follow the example?

Stay Contagious!

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