Will Sr. Managers Change? LO6889

Gordon Housworth (ghidra@mail.msen.com)
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 16:31:01 -0400

Replying to LO6857 --

If and Ray:

At 18:29 21/04/1996 -0400, you wrote:
>Do you really think that senior managers in most organizations will really
>change as a result of their encounter with LO theory? I think not. I'm
>afraid that they will skim the work of Senge, Marsick and others and do
>with LO what so many did with reengineering- read half the book and don't
>follow through with sincere reflection on the consequences of their

Continuing your comments on Ray LaMann's observations, we see management
theories treated as a stream of successive "isms" which certain levels of
both management and staff merely adopt as the "camouflage of the day" and
endured in a search for the "less-bitter medicine" alternative.

When an organization has been swept by successive managerial "isms," the
only "ism" that sticks is cynicism. Many employees adopt the buzz words
of the new ism without making any substantive change in behavior, ever
widening the perceived cynicism of affected employees, and poisoning the
soil for the next well-intentioned "ism." Why? our experience is that
many managers have a 20 - 25 year history of receiving good employee
evaluations and perceive no need to alter their behavior -- buttressed by
the fact they often see their direct management as not altering its
behavior (and that level has another few years of good evaluations to
support its view of personal competence. A large part of the hierarchy
sees the theory as another version of "And that too shall past," mimic its
words while continuing business as usual.

Organizations find the change associated with the theory disturbing -- a
"bitter medicine" so to speak -- and constantly seek a less-bitter
(easier) medicine while never taking the original medicine long enough to
make a substantive effect.

Best regards, Gordon Housworth
Intellectual Capital Group
Tel: 810-626-1310


Gordon Housworth <ghidra@mail.msen.com>

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