For a long time I was expecting the C people in the companies I worked for to be better, to encourage change more, to be more progressive in their thinking about managements. That changed today when I read Management 3.0 and got to the part where Jurgen says “[…] CEO of an organisation needs to know a lot about managing business, but he could be a complete no-no when it comes to coaching and other people skills […]”. So they are not the all-knowing Oracles I was expecting them to be.
So if the top guys know how to run a business what is it that makes us not connect? Another quote, this time something more … common – “it’s not you, it’s me”. If we take that as a given what have I been doing wrong? Have I and my team not been doing good work to deliver on business objectives? If only it wasn’t for the other teams we would have been even better, but obviously the CEO has not fixed that for us, right? But he is too busy running the business.
The only way I can think off to reconcile these conflicting views is that both sides are failing. C levels for not explainig what they are trying to do as a business and us not being better and explaining and selling our ideas on how that can be done easier, cheaper and faster. Why is that? My asnwer: distance. The enterprises I have worked in had about 5 levels on “mangement” before you would get the the C’s PA 🙂 Last time I spoke to a CEO of a company was about 8 years ago and only because I was running a flagship project for them at the time, funny how these are always about the new corporate website 🙂 How does one fix that? Firing all managers seems too obvious but it will never happen. What else then? My anser for now – Change Management 3.0. The work is on us, the igniters and innovators. The highest levels of management will not define and driver change, we have to do it. We just need to get much better at it.