The sands are shifting and organizations are having to change. There are 3 ways in which companies are using their employees to do this.
- Companies that have talented employees who see the difficult and innovative paths that must be taken – and are listening to them.
- Companies that have talented employees who see the difficult and innovative paths that must be taken – and are silencing them.
- Companies that had talented employees who saw the difficult and innovative paths that should have been taken.
Most companies fall into category 2 and 3.
It’s not on purpose. It’s not evil. It’s just human nature.
Our habit of catering to past patterns of power ensures that most organizations work this way.
Working differently is hard.
Working differently means taking an obvious risk and being ridiculed if it all goes bad instead of living with the risks no one else sees and receiving condolences when ‘nothing could be done.’
Ask yourself three questions:
- Do I think everyone in my company agrees that the current direction is the best one? If the answer is yes, then people are missing or silent.
- When was the last time I seriously considered a remark starting with “What about this way?” If the answer is months, then people are missing or silent.
- Can you list the employees actively working on projects that will decimate one of your existing business models if they succeed? If you can’t, then those people work for your competition.
Now, if you’re not running things. Are you silent? Time to speak up. No need to be rude. No need to demand everyone do it your way. Just make sure the folks that matter have heard and seriously considered your idea. If they decide to go a different way, then its time to be a team player. And if they ignore you… well that’s another post, but stories about banging your head up against or through a wall are always appreciated.