Conspiritorial LO teams LO7309

Julie Beedon (
Wed, 08 May 1996 20:09:08

Replying to LO7267 --

in LO 07267 Michael wondered if Tobin had any experience in the 'lower
levels' of an organisation, and expressed a view which he appear to
connect to these 'lower levels' that Tobin's perspective was idealist and
naive... and likely to result in personal assault....

I have been connected, worked in, worked with, etc the lower levels in a
number of organisations... and whilst group think and cynicism was a
common phenomena I cannot ever remember any one actually being physically
harmed for idealism...

I think there is a great risk if from any perspective in the organisation
we claim the higher ground ... I have worked in and with the middle and
top as well... there are issues and dangers at every level...

It seems that Michaels expereince of Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
have been less thatn ideal and that they have not been lived out in the
practices of the organisation ... my sense is that although many people
are getting better at being clearer about V, M, Gs & Os we are struggling
to operationalise them and I frequently hear people at all levels complain
about wordsmithing etc... - the issue then seems that it is not enough to
be able to craft fancy strategy we have to be able to live strategy -
people need to think future and connect their operational goals and
activities to these broader strategies - I can see no way forward other
than to develop whole sytem involvement - of the type which gives every
perspective voice --- and listens...

> you will meet people who just flat don't like you and will try to
>hurt you any way they can ..

I am not sure about this .... do they really not like you - or do they
behave as if they do? Are they really trying to hurt you personally or
are they trying to achieve some purpose of their own which results in them
hurting you as a by product. In some of my experience of people
developing poor opinions of me I found (through some painful learning)
that I had behaved myself into this unfortunate position and that things
need not be this way - some were healed some were not. Much of what I did
was in battle against organisational politics - but then by conspiring I
was playing and perpetuating the dance...

>(sorry, but that is reality)

..?does it have to be reality or do we make it so...

>A lot of those people end up in management. Since management has
>traditionally been about Control and Power, it draws the control freaks
>and the power hungry.

So does this theory mean that these people were always power hungry
control freaks?? The logic of this would mean many of the 'lower levels'
are thus and just waiting to move up?? I am not sure that there are any
power hungry control freaks ... in the same way that I am not convinced
that anybody comes in to work thinking I will screw up today ... My
expereince of people who end up in management is that they are often
people who have learnt the 'way the dance is played' and thus they often -
unintentionally dance the same steps ... in fact some people who I know
*intend* to try another rythm end up joining in - I cannot see this an
individual will ... and yet I know that we can change the steps and create
new dances ... but the old rythms and steps stay with us and we can slip
back if we do not pay a lot of attention...

I have seen Michaels point about not wanting to run the gauntlet and stand
out as different .. be the messenger who gets shot ... or make a stand and
risk being misunderstood ... but going underground can only be a short
term strategy unless you use it alongside a lot of power hungry
controlling tactics to get you where you want and in power - so you do not
have work underground any more ... but now you have the power...

And it is not just the gaunlet of management you have to run - it is
almost as hard in the 'lower levels' to express a diverse viewpoint
especially if it is not cynical!!

But there are other ways and they are not all idealistic - people can
collect clear and unambiguous data to support their points people can
partner with one another and choose to trust - it need not be a conspiracy
and if it *has* to start as one it did not ought to stay one long...

>We need to recognize that there is a dark side to human nature and not
>nievely think we can just go blundering in with all these neat Learning
>Orginization ideas and expect the world to fall at our feet.

Yes there is a dark side to human nature but there is equally a good side
- we are all a complex mixture - the 'senior' and 'lower' levels - no one
is all one or the other - many of us fill more than one role we are middle
managers to some people, senior to others and fairly juniior to others -
and we exhibit all the dysfunctional tendency of that role in our system -
yet we are one person. We go from moaning about our senior managers then
we do similar things and are moaned aobut by those we manage....

And we can make a difference......

Julie Beedon
VISTA Consulting - for a better future


Julie Beedon <>

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