Having experienced the corporate “culture,” while questioning what I found, it became clear that the new thinking in the corporate world focuses on control through micromanagement. This has the affect of disenfranchising its employees and it is intentional. What the corporate planners don’t understand is that just because they can measure certain factors, doesn’t mean better productivity. In fact, this management style actually hinders it. It creates an environment of distrust where there is a “whole lot of nothing going on.” Executive’s directives serve to manipulate the spreadsheets to indicate success, at least in their “target” areas. They remain blind to the damaging, especially on the long-term, of overall productivity. Or, if they do see these problems, they are at a loss to explain it, so they blame the employees, and kick the dog when they get home.
Responsibility rest squarely on management’s shoulders.
They miss this, and look to blame others. However, it always starts at the top, and is caused by the inherent blindness of the dominant masculine thinking, lacking its connection to humanness, the key to what’s missing. I recently experienced being a subcontractor in a corporate environment where the director of operations, hired in 2009, came on board and during his first meeting declared to the staff that he was not satisfied with current results and if he has to, “he will fire the entire staff and start over.” What did he create? More controls, stress, and an unhappy work environment, distrust of each other and the company as a whole, and a morale problem. This distress did not distress him; in fact he reveled in it and encouraged it in his direct underlings. He has people asking how high to jump, but misses the inefficient unhappy work environment he has set in motion.
The corporate employees where naturally terrified of losing their jobs, so they turn on each other, and look to shift the burden for failures anywhere they can. Ingenuity, spark, creativity, and questioning erroneous directives out of caring for the company, doing the right thing, has been replaced with regurgitation of the micromanaged company line. Worse yet, this is what is desired! The optimal outcome of a team working together to produce a great outcome becomes a casualty. Discussing mistakes made, not to hold over ones head, but to determine how the system/management failed, never occurs.
I admit to my mistakes openly, in fact I call them out, as this is how I learn and perhaps teach others to be aware of the same pitfalls, so as not to repeat them. My ego does not see mistakes as failures, but as opportunities to learn and add to my understanding. Micromanagers unfortunately see and count every mistake and attempt to shove it down their underling’s throats to aggrandize themselves. Achievements and good work are ignored. They only pats on the back come with knife in hand. This creates fear and resentment. Resentment ALWAYS shows up, perhaps not right away, but it will show up. It can show up in family lives, be self-directed, and will show up in the workplace indirectly and directly as sabotage. I do just what I’m told, make no suggestions and look to make myself look better. If others are hurt or unfairly undermined, so what, becomes the undercurrent. The truth is that leading properly takes a lot of work, caring for team, and courage. This has been drummed out of middle management, so known of it remains.
If the mistakes are repeating, it is the managers that need better training. In their micromanaged environment “it” flows downhill, and there is no “uphill” feedback routes available. Managers, I noticed where hired without experience in their department and immediately made ill-thought-out control decisions. They made the decisions and that was that. If you give a computer, or an ant, conflicting, ever changing contradictory directives, you will get short-term compliance and stats and long-term disaster. Egocentricity never creates team, but it does create cliques of posterior kissers. America’s talent is being ground down and molded into ants. Using the ants of China as a model perhaps?
Even in China, as they progress and start to innovate, there is an up-swell of individual thinkers rebelling against their fascistic/communistic masters. The corporate megalomaniacs have it wrong. Communism starts off as fascism (according to Marx) and when the people finally fall in line, a communal caring thinking idealistic existence begins. No country, or company has even gotten close to this ideal state. The pseudo-communist-fascistic states fail, as do the dictatorial corporations. Their downfall is not realizing the paradoxical need to find a balance between the ideal corporate control concept and the reality that to thrive and innovate the individual must be encouraged. The latter requires human understanding and work.
Small-minded egotistical dictators, do not make good leaders. Leaders guide and encourage, they mentor and direct, while honoring the qualities in their staff that they nurture and encourage. I am seeing less and less of this type of true leader, and more and more of the mini-dictators. “If only the ants would just do their jobs.” “I can squeeze all I can, and when they burn out, there are 150 others waiting to replace them.” This just creates more stress, illness, and poor quality production. Blind, having no idea how to get humans to join together, these corporate dictators demand ant-hood as their surrogate battle plan. We are all doomed with this thinking.
It is the little dictator’s lack of understanding that stifles innovation and real long-term production. Ants are ants, people are people, to demand one act like the other creates distress, dysfunction, and disaster. Why, because you have to listen to those that actually do the work to see if it is working. Their feedback is invaluable, unless your ego is in the way. They paradoxically need encouragement and direction. Before you change anything, ask for feedback on the changes and listen. Be aware of the posterior kissers, in the long run they will destroy you. They will jump ship at the first opportunity. Their lack of courage to disagree, withholds the very feedback and understanding needed to manage and prevent a shipwreck. Value the discontents, not everything they are unhappy with is unrealsitic, and you will be rewarded for listening by having a real team player that feels valued part of the whole. Would you not like to feel this way too? Do unto other as you would have them do unto you applies aptly here.