Conspiritorial LO teams? LO7511

Archie Kregear (
Mon, 20 May 1996 15:09:00 -0700

From: Conspiritorial LO teams LO7225
Gene Bellinger wrote:

I must assume that management is doing what makes sense to them, even if
it makes no sense to the employees. This isn't to imply what they're doing
is correct, it just makes sense to them. If the employees in the company
do whatever it takes to ensure the success of the company then isn't it
likely that this will simply serve to reinforce management's perception
that what they are doing is right -- because it's producing results? From
this perspective mangement will continue doing more of what doesn't make
sense to employees, and employees will have to be even more committed to
doing what needs to be done to make the company successful.

This is essentially an escallation structure and both sides will continue
in their defined direction until the structure inevitably crashes because
it will get to a point where no amount of employee committment will be
able to overcome the inappropriate actions of management. And when the
system crashes everyone will say, "What happened?" It will appear like the
straw that broke the camel's back, and it's also representative of the
Niagra Syndrome; by the time to see the waterfall it's too late!

The issue I see with this escalation problem is that ther only other
option for the lower level employee is leaving the company. That is
unemployment either via resignation or via the company going over the
waterfall. Now if I am in a boat heading for the waterfall I can either
jump out and try to swim (quit) or help to row the boat in the direction I
feel it needs to go, even if the captain is steering the boat in a manner
that he percieves is correct. The longer I, and others like me, can keep
the ship from going over the waterfall, the greater chance we have of
either the captain waking up or being replaced by someone competant.
Plus, my ultimate goal, making money to support my family, is still in
place. Do I take the risk of jumping ship? There are other ships I can
easily get on, is leaving this one worth the risk?

I firmly believe in the theory that those who are at the bottom will work
their hearts out for a company/leader who respects them and who provides a
vision with proper long term rewards and stability. It is the leadership
that uses threats and uncertainty that creates poor attitudes in their
employees. The problem is compounded in that many employees were tainted
by previous management/managers. I know that my mistakes in manageing
those under me have created some negative attitudes towards me and
management in general. If I choose to harshly go off in the direction
that I feel is correct without winning over my employees, then they often
will row against me or abandon ship. Once you have a team attitude, you
cannot go back to a hierarchy.

FYI, Two weeks ago a new LOB president was introduced. I have been
impressed at his management thus far. However, this LOB may be too close
to the falls for it to be saved in an economical manner. We should know
in a few weeks.

FRom: Conspiritorial LO teams LO7240
Augustine A. Paz wrote:

I think Chris Argyris has covered this very well.
(some deleted)

He starts by hypothesizing about how we learn in organizations as
social environments, thus Model I. He then constructs an alternative
model, not as an antithesis or opposite to the first, but more focused
on self-consciously achieving meaningful learning, Model II. This
basic scheme is still, in my estimate, unsurpassed as an archetype.

(More deleted)

The movement from one model to the other is not at all linear or easy
to implement. In fact, Argyris postulates, from his experience in the
field, that it takes about 2 to 5 years to internalize and effectively
use Model II.
---end quote --

I would be interested to see if this progression from Model I to Model II
is even possible in a situation that is in as much flux as this business
has been. If it takes 2-5 years to internalize and use Model II
principles, then I would guess that there needs to be a somewhat stable
management structure so that some focus could be consistantly give to this
progression. Also, as alluded to above, the top manager must be interested
in progressing to something other than the status quo in order to allow
this progression to occur at all.


Archie Kregear

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