Friday, May 11, 2007

Culture Change Update: "It Is What It Is"

In my post on 4/17/07 titled "Culture Change?" I discussed a couple memos on culture and expectations that the top executives at my company sent out to the workforce. In that post I commented on the memo from our Prez:

“the memo details out the expectations our president has for the leaders of our company. “Lead by Example”, “Be a Team Player” and “Challenge the Status Quo” are all key statements made by the head honcho is his groundbreaking document. He ends the memo with the snappy phrase “fail to plan and plan to fail” referencing the fact that the leaders need to better layout their goals, objectives and expectations.”

In order to keep myself amused at work, I try and test how bad the incompetence is at my company. I waited a few days after the memo came out and then sent an email to my boss asking him about the President’s memo. In particular I asked “will there be follow-up to this memo in terms of meetings, management training, or workshops to help successfully instill this mindset at our company.” No response to my email.

I then waited a few more days and approached my boss asking him if he read my email (I know he did because my return receipt came back that he opened it). I referenced my email and asked him about the follow-up to the President’s memo. My boss abruptly responds, “what exactly is there to follow up on, it’s all there in writing on what he expects.” He was in the middle of a game of computer solitaire and I guess I pissed him off my interrupting his game time with a real business question. Now I could have pushed him further on it but his response was the only answer I really needed. I also realized the importance of solitaire time to my boss and didn’t want to anger the beast further.

It has been almost a month since the memo came out and it is already forgotten. Heck, as I posted in my original blog entry on this, the memo was immediately ignored as one of my fellow managers was bashed by a VP the day after the memo on leadership came out. Real culture change and expectations are laid out through interaction and involvement by top leaders. If the top leaders believe that memos or other propaganda are going to make real change they are sorely mistaken. The top leaders at my company always stop way short of what is needed to jump start the workforce and create a real culture of performance and innovation. That’s why the phrase “it is what it is” is used so frequently by employees at my company!


Newer Post Older Post Home