Working in a house of cards - by Grant Symons

Mar 07 2017

Much of our work involves helping individuals and organisations explore the truth about the situation they are facing into, but sometimes we come across situations where it is completely the opposite…  

I was recently on a train in Sydney when a couple of well-dressed business men sat down next to me and openly proceeded to have a conversation, (and believe me there was no eaves dropping required here, they were animated, speaking rather loudly … to the point that I wondered if this was a regular topic to discuss in public and culturally acceptable?)

The conversation centred around someone in command wanting a problem to disappear.  “He doesn’t want to know about it”, “We’ve got to make it all sweet”, “ It’s going to require some work, but we’ve got to get it sorted”  were some of the phrases they were using. It seemed like business as usual.

I wondered what kind of a person they were talking about and what kind of organisation they were in? And perhaps more importantly what was the cost of this kind of behaviour to people and the organisation ongoing?

Although the answers to these questions may seem obvious doing anything about it in practice may seem out of reach. But think again. If you would rather work in an organisation where the truth matters, there are things working in your favour.

  • The world is moving increasingly faster – the shear effort of trying to cover up anything is becoming overwhelming (think about the impact of social media and consequences negative publicity) So organisations are likely to need leadership teams that just deal with the truth.
  • Many organisations are realising that people prefer to work where there is a strong sense of purpose, ethics and culture, maybe it’s time to move?
  • You can influence the existing patterns by learning how to deal with conflict and grow stronger trust based relationships.

What is your choice? (as they say, no choice is actually a choice!)