Me Talk Pretty One Day Questions On Rhetoric And Style 10 Ways To Kill An Organisation

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10 Ways To Kill An Organisation

I’m talking about the perfect Hitchcockian murder here. Forget the burning of corporate headquarters or the company’s mysterious disappearance from the annals of history (due to mergers and acquisitions that combined nothing and acquired everything, including the logo and name, which ceased to exist on the first day of the “union”). ‘). I’m talking about the subtle poisoning of an organization that many don’t see and some only slightly suspect. I’m talking about slow poisoning by professional assassins with an ulterior motive. I’m talking about a “husband-poisons-wife-with-small-doses-of-cyanide” thriller scenario, where the poison is administered in a seemingly caring atmosphere.

In some organizations, it is not that difficult to identify the prime suspects, the toxic managers. You may even know them well; you can even report to them. There are two types – clearly unpleasant and caring. One of them is very dangerous.

That’s right, this is the one who cares, and who poisons under mandatory care.

So here are ten script outlines for an organizational thriller. You can choose the heroes and villains you want – I’m just providing an outline. You can also choose additional amenities and locations. I will be the producer. If you come back to me with a developed script, we’ll try Hollywood first and split the profits. As an alternative, we can try business schools: the case study industry is doing well, and frankly, anything beats learning about Toyota’s US market penetration and eventual shareholder value maximization in the Southern California auto industry.

Scenario 1: I just know

Subheading: I just know we’re going to do x, but go ahead and explore all the options.

In this scenario, the senior manager not only openly relies on teams, but also proclaims himself to be the Great Defender of Team Spirit. He nurtures and protects his team. He prefers to personally train all project managers, although this is met with mixed feelings. He encourages the team to explore many possibilities, be open-minded and see the big picture. But he “just knows what will happen.” When faced with a problem, he asks for ideas even though he “already knows the answer.” This pattern is repeated several times until the team begins to suspect that they are wasting time and that the Big Guy is just playing ego. By the time the toxicity was discovered, half the project managers had left to chase the boss who “knew less,” while the other half were either bored or enjoying their stock options.

Scenario 2: Let them fail

Subtitle: The wrong way, but they have to see it for themselves.

This scenario plays out in paternalistic and patronizing organizations where senior management chronically mistakes the business organization for an elementary school. Toxicity is very subtle because it operates in a so-called learning environment where people “learn from their mistakes” and have the “right to take risks.” Suspicion arises halfway through the script when some of the people who fail are fired. The piece ends with people laughing merrily as the CEO speaks highly of knowledge management while receiving the Learning Organization of the Year award.

Scenario 3: Try harder

Subtitle: Guess What I Want.

Teams are always “not quite there” when they present the results of a three-month analysis of a problem, and they return again and again to refine their research. Eventually one project manager had an epiphany and asked, “Why don’t you tell us what you want? This will save us from having to “return to the team”.

Scenario 4: I have an answer, what question?

Subtitle: Been there, done that, trust me, I know.

A variation of scenario 1, this organization is run by managers who constantly revert to their previous experience. If it’s a leadership change program, they bring McKinsey templates from their company’s latest M&A to the first kick-off meeting. The answers are out there, and they are. If this is a personnel problem, then they are super psychologists. If it’s a financial problem, they know because they’ve been there before. Reality is largely delineated, which forces staff to shut down creatively. In this scenario, sudden death occurs when market conditions change dramatically, and the combined wisdom of these seasoned managers cannot compensate for the lack of new ideas and imagination.

Scenario 5: Legalized suicide

Subheading: You decide who is redundant – this is a very humane M&A.

The story begins with M&A consulting gurus deciding it’s better to let the staff decide who survives, rather than burdening the management team with such an inhumane decision. Heads of divisions are gathered and given a business plan and schedule. After a few sleepless nights, a good third of the managers and staff decide they’re going to be fired, so they leave. The trick in this scenario is that there is no apparent killer. Instead, several employees commit mass suicide while singing the catchy chorus of “What a wonderful human death.” There is a twist in the finale: the two surviving heads of divisions accuse the management of blatantly abdicating their responsibilities and presenting everything as a democratic decision, and the CEO uses the case to show how humane, democratic and open company.

Scenario 6: Do, but don’t do

Subtitle: Feel free to do, but make sure we tell you what.

This story unfolds in a “free” environment, where people are encouraged to take any initiative, to take action. There are many examples. Once the manager implements the program she is encouraged to do. She is reprimanded and actually demoted. Confused and disappointed, she leaves. Colleagues demand explanations, but do not go far. The script ends with vivid moments of collective frustration when it turns out that this pattern of “do this but don’t do that” is common to everyone.

Scenario 7: You have the right to believe me

Subtitle: We all have powers, but I have more power than others.

This plot borrows a lot from the concept “We are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others.” Empowerment is a buzzword that is often thrown around the organization and features prominently in its mission statement. Life is relatively calm until the manager asks the question: “What does this mean?”. Angry senior management responds with a long sermon about trust, culture, values ​​and principles. The little boy asks again, “But what does it mean to have powers?” The big guy says, “Look at the powers I got from the board.” Graffiti with unpleasant statements about trust in the company’s rhetoric begins to appear on the walls, doors and toilet partitions. The organization is slowly dying from the intoxication of buzzwords.

Scenario 8: Maximum accountability, minimum authority

Subtitle: Great Names, Great Visibility, Great Blindness.

In this scenario, the responsibilities of the organization are clearly defined – everyone knows what they are responsible for. But hidden small doses of toxicity come from giving staff the impression that they have chaperone powers. It turns out that this is simply not true. The power lies elsewhere, and the people are not really responsible for anything except accumulating as much power as possible. Managers’ egos are boosted by big “accountable” titles like Global Project Leader (the corporate equivalent of UN Secretary General). Several employees discover that they have no real authority and flee the organization. Those trapped become blind. The game of “Big Titles” is coming to an end as more and more managers begin to suspect a mismatch of accountability and authority. The CEO is responding by creating a new breed of highly accountable managers with very sexy titles on their business cards.

Scenario 9: Big goals, big future, great cuts

Subheading: We’re fine, but you’re fired.

Internally, the organization has reported growth, and its annual results are not bad. The CEO expresses high hopes and opportunities. Almost simultaneously, R&D is cut by 20%, and those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time are fired, regardless of their talents. The pattern repeats itself several times as the story progresses, until a Pavlovian reflex develops: every time the CEO announces “good year, great results, we need to grow,” the staff shivers.

Scenario 10: Boiling a frog

Subheading: There are two ways to boil a frog and you should be slightly warm by now.

This is based on the old saying that there are two ways to boil a frog. One way is to take a pot of boiling water and drop a frog in it. The frog gets burned, but quickly jumps out and survives. The second method is to lower the frog into a pot of cold water and turn on the heat. The frog is very happy in its gradually warm and cozy environment until it boils without noticing. This script is offered for free interpretation and application in the life of leaders of organizations.

Scenario 11 – math has never been my strong point – based on a combination of the other ten. Managers believe that in this scenario, all the previous scenarios are a bit of jokes, funny stories with barely worked out ideas, rather than a reflection of real life, a bit of entertainment disguised as management thinking. Readers in scenario mode 11 may be feeling pretty warm and cozy. Please check if the heating is turned off.

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