Based on the first chapter of the “Best Seller” “Working Without a Net” by Morrie R. Shechtman
“The Information and Communication Intensive Revolution we have been experiencing for the past three decades and will continue to evolve in the years to come, as the digital age demonstrates. Technology has provided the means to collect, distribute and use information in unimaginable ways, the challenge we now face is deciding what is relevant and how to use it”
Things have changed and will continue to change, and it is not easy to manage this, because sometimes in addition to facing anxiety, we must deal with its consequences: unproductiveness and stagnation.
We have reached a point where our personal life has been affected by what happens and will happen in our work life.
The rules have changed, and it is time to relearn the new rules of this revolution that we are experiencing, "Information and Communication Intensive", which affect our lives, our culture, and our habits.
For today's entrepreneurs, directors, managers, and supervisors, it is exceedingly difficult to run business the old-fashioned way, because the whole environment changed:
📍The life cycle of products and companies was “shortened”; we see companies appear and disappear.
📍The new workforce is no longer willing to maintain blind loyalty in organizations in exchange for job security.
📍The ruthless competitiveness of employees, managers and supervisors eliminated mediocre performances.
📍The cynicism of leaders has succumbed to ethics, selling their principles and values in exchange for maintaining their status.
📍The speed of decision-making because of intensive information and communication has created an anxious society that has blocked one of the most important tools in the social and business world: “Common Sense”.
📍To avoid conflicts, many have succumbed to consensus, not realizing that not all conflicts are destructive, in fact, most conflicts (without hostility) allow personal and organizational growth.
Denial: "There is no more blind than he who does not want to see"
Because they refused to act, hoping things would get better, it is impressive to see the list of companies and organizations that have disappeared in recent years, simply and by way of example, during my working life and before founding my consulting firm (eaBC / The 5th Wave of Change), I can share with you that of the twelve companies in which I collaborated, seven, as independent companies, have already disappeared: Cyanamid, Resistol, Warner Lambert , ICI - Imperial Chemical Industries, Scott Paper, Olympia and Lapimex), two have been converted (EI DuPont and RR Donnelley) and only three remain the same (Shell, Crayola and IMEF).
I have seen some common factors in the disappearance of companies, excuses such as the inability of top management to not achieve the cooperation of their workforce, an excuse that is the simple denial that the situation is bad and should be changed.
At the strategic level, the refusal to change things by companies and people happens when declining industries are pretended to improve and these companies begin to die along with their industries.
Denial is part of the change process of human beings, by not accepting that their way of life must change with or without their permission and, affects company directors, junior executives, supervisors, coordinators, and collaborators.
I have seen during my life as a consultant, directors and managers who allow (although they do not accept it), certain dysfunctional behaviors in their collaborators, which affect companies and organizations, however, they fail to take concrete actions to solve the problem. Examples?
▶ Commercial directors who, working for a company, market the products of the company for which they work through their own business and, although there is a conflict of interest and knowing this on the part of the general director, he does nothing, because the commercial director is related to the vice president of the company.
▶ Operations directors who give preference in shipments to clients who give them some financial “support”, with the knowledge of their director and he does nothing because the performance of the operations director is incredibly good.
▶ Sales directors, who, being responsible for finished product inventories, steal product to resell it for their benefit, but senior managers deny it, because they consider this director as an honest person and do not investigate and do nothing.
▶ International directors, who propose business plans without a logical basis, and the top management (CEO / COO), knowing that said plan does not have a good foundation, pretend that, if it will work, because they want to believe it and, the result it is a catastrophic performance, which finally costs the neck of the international director and the COO.
▶ Employees who, to justify their absences, “have killed their grandmother five times”, and their boss out of apathy or denial that this is false, blindly believe in the story and, do not investigate it or what is worse, do not any.
"There is no more blind than he who does not want to see"
The reality before the examples mentioned above and many others that you dear reader can imagine, directors, managers and supervisors prefer not to act, to do nothing because what fuels the denial is the compulsion to reproduce what they already know and have learned since childhood, that is, not to get into trouble by confronting others, because they believe that confronting is fighting, and because of this belief many people do not like to "confront" their subordinates, because they believe that in a confrontation, they will destroy the relationship with that person.
"Confronting is not Fighting"
When you fight with an employee who cheated on you and whether you fire him or not, the relationship is in effect destroyed leaving "wounded along the way" because there was hostility involved from both sides.
However, when you confront an employee who cheated on the company, the confrontation consists of seeing the facts in an objective way and without hostility, in such a way that, although the employment relationship is broken, the personal relationship should not necessarily be destroyed, because breaking personal relationships is leaving wounded along the way, wounded who may eventually seek revenge.
Remember in one of the companies where I collaborated, that the credit and collections manager was corrupted by a certain amount of money before a distributor, extending the credit term and, without the knowledge of senior management, since said extension was not within policies.
For some reason, the distributor admitted to taking care of his relationship with the company that he bribed the credit manager.
The general director spoke with the credit manager showing him the facts in a very objective way and without hostility, in such a way that the manager recognized it, being the imminent dismissal, but the human relationship was not destroyed, that is, there were no aggressions, insults or mutual curses; This does not mean that they are friends, it simply implies managing work relationships objectively and without passion, but above all, without leaving injuries along the way, injuries that will eventually be able to seek revenge at the first opportunity that comes their way.
Many people fear confronting their collaborators, because they fear conflict and destroying intrapersonal relationships, but they also fear the self-examination that confrontation could produce, revealing aspects of their own life that they do not like.
We can conclude this reflection by saying that in this age of intensive information and communication, people feel overwhelmed by change, but, above all, by the speed of change, which affects both their personal and professional lives, but instead of facing it they deny it avoiding reality and sabotaging your Future.