Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7099

DAVID REED (DPR9989@KGV1.bems.boeing.com)
Wed, 01 May 1996 08:34:33 -0700 (PDT)

Replying to LO7024 -Kay Foster wrote:

>I'm sure I'm not the only person on the list who considers themselves to
>be a senior manager, and what are we doing here if not trying to change?
>Perhaps we need to post more responses to the list ourselves, except that
>the erudite nature of some of the messages can be off-putting to those of
>us who spend our lives working more with implementation than with theory.

Okay, time to jump in here...
I agree Kay. By placing one's self in the shoes of a senior manager, one
quickly learns the environment they are dealing with (systems view here?).
The senior manager has been rewarded for her/his business approach over the
years. They reached their "title" and role though a series of experiences
and accolades. But now, the rules are changing yet no one can describe the
new game.

I recently spoke to a 38 year old senior HR executive who confided in me
that he felt he does not have the skills needed for the future. Realize that
this individual is recognized, in our rather large company, as a forward
thinker, and progressive leader. Yet he was concerned. Interviewing several
senior managers, I have come to learn that they share this fear as well as
an intense desire to contribute. These senior managers are helping re-define
their organization's processes, they are helping to "lean" out their
organizations to become more competitive, they learning the "soft" skills
required to lead instead of manage. They are reshaping their organizations
into smaller business units and cross-functional teams; leaving them to
question their continuing role. They support their junior associates with
job placements and career goals.

And yet, their performance measures and reward systems have not changed.
They see change is needed and they are trying to respond. But, they aren't
being rewarded for doing what is necessary to change. Their superiors are
measuring them on returns, costs, results; not happy organizations. Learning
is good, but do it off-hours! (I know, this infuriates me too) I suggested
to one individual that they allocate one full day a week to team learning.
This way, they can develop the necessary shared mental models and systems
view to learn what they need to accomplish. But how do they allocate 20% of
their team's time to something that is in direct competition to performance
measures? They know its the right thing to do, but in light of their goals,
they can't "afford it.
The system is broke. I know it, you know it, they know it. Now, how do we
fix it?

David Reed "Uh-oh" is a state of mind.
H R Strategy Development Uh-oh people seem not only to
(206)655-3245 M/S 11-40 expect suprise, they count
dpr9989@kgv1.bems.boeing.com it. --(R.Fulghum)--


DAVID REED <DPR9989@KGV1.bems.boeing.com>

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