Friday, September 22, 2006

Dealing with organizational self-pity

There are times when I get to see an organization when people are seemingly sunk in self-pity. Everybody knows that there is something wrong. Everybody thinks someone else is the cause. Gossip and politics are everywhere, killing everybody's reputation behind their backs.

I think I know the recipe to recover from this tragedy. It is so obvious - one just has to look at the things from a third-person's perspective. People get so involved in their own matters that they can't look at the big picture, but anyone from outside can easily see that.

One of the most important things is action. It is absolutely imperative that people stop their endless discussion about who is wrong and what someone else can do, and instead turn to what they can contribute to the organization.

But, the most serious problem arises, when people don't even believe in themselves, when they don't believe that they can do something about the situation, when they expect somebody from outside to lift them up (fat chance). At that point, they resist even the reformers. What a tragedy, what a waste of talent.

What to do at that time ? Someone has to bite the bullet, someone has to shoulder the responsibility, someone has to take the risks, someone has to have a vision, and that someone must not be afraid of failure to act, even though his/her vision might be deficient. That someone must be courageous - and foolish - enough to believe that he/she can singlehandedly change the organization.

Now, that someone is me.

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