The Function of Blame LO7371

kramer (74647.3025@CompuServe.COM)
10 May 96 17:06:28 EDT

Replying to LO7144 --

Thanks to Julie and Margie for noticing there seems to be a bit of
finger-pointing weaving its way through some of the threads on this list.
If only they would change we might get somewhere...

This brings to mind one of the most powerful learnings I had about change
in organizations. We were plunged into a major change effort in our
organization, a Federal agency, led by our new Assistant Secretary who
took "reinventing government" very seriously. We became immersed in
change on all fronts. One of our catchwords was "There's no THEY
anymore." This was a concept I embraced wholeheartedly, or at least I
thought I did. Until our empowered training team, which had been
chartered to develop a training strategy for the entire agency, started
running into problems. We had been given the "green light" from the
Reinvention Team ( union and management leaders who directed our change
effort) and we were flying high. Everything we proposed, they approved.
Then we started messing up - scheduling snafus, people angry about the
training and rebelling, policy questions galore, etc. At first, our
reaction was to find someone to blame or to tell us what to do. But we
couldn't find anybody because we had been empowered. We were the ones who
were looked to for the answers. All of the problems were of our own
creation. We had to learn to own them and to work through them. It all
worked out fine. We learned a lot and we basked in our successes. But
I'll never forget that learning a concept intellectually, and then
learning it through hard experience are two distinctly different things.

I once saw a poster made up to illustrate the concept that there's no THEY
anymore. It was one of those red circles with a diagonal slash and the
word THEY inside.

Suzanne Kramer


kramer <74647.3025@CompuServe.COM>

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