Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7388

jpomo@gate.net ("jpomo@gate.net")
Sat, 11 May 1996 11:18:48 +0000

Replying to LO7359 --

On Fri, 10 May 1996 09:46 Brock Vodden wrote -

> Joan:
> On 5/7/96, in reply to my posting LO7218, you wrote: (regarding what I
> described as a national systemic flaw in the way we select, promote and
> develop our senior managers, and my question "How do we change the culture
> - not just of an organization - but of a nation?"), you wrote:
> >We change just as one eats an elephant, one bite or one person at a time.
> If we spend 30 years addressing these leadership problems, one
> person/company at a time, we will have missed the opportunity to define
> and address the systemic problem which will continue to produce deficient
> leaders

> The problem here is not lack of a definition of leadership or knowledge
> and experience with helping leaders to develop their capacities. We have
> many resources for that task.

> The issue that I am trying to address is the myriad of underachieving
> organizations led by poorly educated executive teams which do not possess
> the full range of competencies required by their task. They don't know
> that they have a problem. They are not likely to address problems they
> don't see.

I do not agree that we know what leadership is, nor do I agree that we
have useful experience in helping leaders to develop their capacities. If
we were able to do this we would not have your "myriad of underachieving
organizations led by ---". Most of these leaders have had advanced
education and many have tried various consultants and books. The educators
and consultants and books do not present a set of doable actions which are
independent of one's personality and have a compelling set of reasons why
they are corect. This LACK of resources and knowledge is why your "myriad
of underachievers" exists today.

This situation is why my associate wrote his book after spending over 30
years managing people. He was unable to find adequate resources in
consultants or in advanced education or in books. The products are simply
not useable by executives and managers. Tom Peters, certainly very
successful in terms of income and prestige, admitted in his fourth book
that if you had followed the many exhortations of his first three books
you would not be better off today. I give him a lot of credit for such an
open admission, but his are not the only books loaded with great concepts
and great descriptions of where to be, but no way to get there from here.
In addition, reasons why are almost never addressed.

So I see the problem as a lack of an executable discipline backed up with
compelling reasons why these actions are the right ones. If we line up ten
people with a mechanical engineering degree and show them a machine with a
problem, there is a good chance that 6 or more will agree on what the
problem is. If we then tell them the problem and ask them to design a fix,
5 or more will agree on the fix. Try the same with business school
graduates over a people problem. Or try 10 experienced managers of people.
You may not get even two to agree on the problem and rarely two on the fix
once they know the problem. The point is that we have no collective base
of knowledge on which anyone agrees because no one has come forth with
actions/reasons which will stand the test of time in an average manager's

> I believe we cannot continue to look at this as one company's problem
> (multiplied by x). It is a national problem - if not a Western world
> problem. It is in my view a major drag on Canada's productivity.
> What an opportunity! If we can find the upstream factors, and a way to
> deal with them, and ways to get the attention of a majority of the
> under-achievers, the potential for productivity gains are enormous.

What are these national actions which will be the magic wand for which you
are searching? I know that if my set of actions/reasons are used in the
workplace, the vast majority of those people will become personally
empowered, strong and independent team players who can think for
themselves and exercise self-control through high standards of values.
They then carry this capacity for independent action in accordance with
high standards into their communities and they go after all sorts of
problems which exist therein. This is the one bite at a time approach
because having one good person working on the big problem is nowhere near
as effective as having thousands.

So this is my tactic to correct all societal ills. What is your's?

Regards, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
jpomo@gate.net "How to Unleash the Power of People"


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