Will Sr. Managers Change? LO6854

Martin Charles Raff (martin@vistaraff.win-uk.net)
Sun, 21 Apr 1996 20:09:43

Replying to LO6820 --

>Do you really think that senior managers in most organizations will really
>change as a result of their encounter with LO theory?

> Any ideas?


I think this is a very difficult issue. Leaders nearly always semm
to run a mile if they sense that personal change for them is needed
in an organisation's change programme.

It might help to look at how the situation looks to the senior
manager. I was one (responsible for 5000 people) before I became a
consultant. I think that increasingly leaders feel a heavy sense of
responsibility for the performance of their organisations and a fear
of failing. If the organistaion fails to deliver, even in the short
term, everyone - shareholders, employees, the business press etc.
will blame the leader. Organisations in trouble frequently get
through a succeasion of CEO's (often without the long term
situation improving).

So to ask a leader to change from the way of working he/she has
grown up with, and which has worked well enough to get them to the
top, is to propose a very frightening prospect for them.

I think that leaders need patience and understanding from
consultants (external and internal) who want them to change. They
need to be helped to believe that personal change is possible for
them and that if they change it will enable them to achieve the
organisational aims that they have.

It is too easy to see leaders as all powerful and in control, and
to forget that they are people the same as anyone else, and ones in
a very exposed and insecure position.

So ways of helping them will need to have similar qualities to
those in other difficult learning situations where the learner is
nervous and unconvinced that he/she is capable of learning the new
way - rather like riding a bicycle or swimming in some ways only
much more complex and threating for the learner.



Martin Raff VISTA Consulting - for a better future martin@vistaraff.win-uk.net phone and fax: +44-1789 840418

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>