I met a chap on LinkedIn – Bob McGannon! I was interested in his topic – Intelligent Disobedience. We spoke and I certainly enjoyed his refreshing and dynamic approach and the subject matter. Group and pre-emptive think have always been a cancer I have found in board rooms and executive committees, not to say it doesn’t occur in every aspect of life. I equate this with the fear of engaging in Intelligent Disobedience.
The current news item is about a women Barrister who defended and leaked re gangland figures – she said something like, “I just wanted to be liked, to be respected, needed”. This harks back to Maslow’s hierarchy and I think forms part of the challenge in people dare to be Intelligent Disobedience, dare to put themselves out there, dare to in fact wrong. That is knowing something doesn’t fit with their values but not wanting to rock the boat, their boat and the fear that they may be pushing the wrong boat, that their opinion may be wrongly based.
Then of course there are the inevitable repercussions where authority outweighs the junior – As Bob’s tome wasn’t immediately available, I found a copy of Ira Chaleff’s Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong’. Ira speaks of someone who stood up to a senior medical practitioner (page 7) and found a soft way of asserting herself that gave the other space to acquiesce.
I worked with a major international organisation where it just wasn’t OK to speak against the prevailing authority. Through me demonstrating a little respectful but solid ‘push-back’ other saw that in fact a dissenting view could be exercised without horrible reprisal – in fact that fear was more an excuse not to speak up that a reality.
PRODUCTIVITY and EMPLOYER of FIRST CHIOCE are compromised when team members at all levels feel compelled to ‘go along with the boss’ – all levels! How many times have I heard in an organisation, at ALL levels, “here we go again, didn’t work last time” and “no one ever asks us” and this will never last, you watch, it either will not happen or we will revert!”. HOW MANY TIMES – agony!!!
The thing is, basic communication learning with all staff is missing. Those who know – and that’s way more than is usually given honour to – from the lowest to the highest in an organisation hierarchy – too often resent their case emotionally! Too often don’t prepare their case and rely just on invective and energy – and then walk away with a “no one ever listens”.
This is a serious LEADERSHIP breakdown! Yes, the person giving the input would be well advised (as in the example in Ira Chaleff’s page 7) to deliver their message unemotionally and in such a way that didn’t destroy the receiver. The LEADERSHIP breakdown is in the organisation not equipping the people with skills for more than their actual skill set position; not recognising that effect communication is at the foundation of everything.
I am very much looking forward to completing the read of Ira’s book and getting Bob’s which should be with me soon. There is bound to be a real raft of learning moments in have all that to devour.
LEARNING NOTE – 1 + # = > Σ #. That is, one plus a number equals greater than the sumo the number.
That is, if we are to learn from others experience, then we need to make it possible for them to contribute. Not just ‘open door policy’ rubbish but real observable, “it’s safe to speak up” experience for everyone.
This is truly the basis of
- provide Duty of Care – a safe physical and psychological workplace – it’s not psychologically if people are ignored, not appreciated, encouraged
- encourage team to participate and hence gain more enjoyment from position – that’s how to achieve 1 + # = > Σ #
- organisational benefit in ‘testing’ thinking through the total of skill and experience – avoid unexpected consequences
- becoming an Employer of First Choice – this status ensures quality people stay with you and you attract the best as you expand
- improving productivity – it is all about ‘them’ – help them be the best they can be makes you the best you can be!
- lessening absenteeism – say more – respect and truth and honour have this effect
and so much more