Monday, August 10, 2015

Perceptions of Perfection-A Manager's Dilemma

 Arrogance is as much a risk to any organization as outside threats. When evaluating risks few strategist look at the personalities and perceptions of perfection among managers even though this is a primary reason why many businesses eventually fail. Without constant rejuvenation, questioning of practices, and the implementation of improvements organizations are doomed to dissolution.

It doesn't matter if discussing a business, organization, government, or other entity the process of change is a necessary component to success. Systems that are open have the capacity to take in new information and use that information for improvement. A fundamental risk to all entities is the inability to accept new information and use that information to improve competitiveness.

Consider a company or public institution that knows its environment is changing but the stakeholders in that organization fail to recognize the need for change or how their decisions contribute to eventual collapse. They will naturally maintain the defunct operations until their position is either weak or forced to change.

Failure to change an organization is based in either the lack of knowledge to see the signs of change or the insight to enact change when needed. There is a stream of arrogance that runs throughout their decision-making. Sticking fingers in one's ears and running processes until the organization dissolves doesn't do anyone good even though it helps the manager feel as though their decisions are superior.

Managers have as much ego needs as anyone else. It takes a strong personality to perceive weaknesses  and find places improvements can be made. This requires a perception that is open to new information versus maintaining a delusion of perfection. Those that rise to the top of an organization should be able to self-reflect on their thought processes and operational strategies.

Questioning practices can often spark a fairly harsh response from narrow minded power players. Because of their position, and the power of that position is tied to their perception of self, they are willing to use that power to thwart any criticism of their decisions. Employees who question are quickly discarded  in order to maintain grips on knowledge and power.

Being a well-developed person who has the ability to see change when change is needed is not an act of weakness. It is an act of self-reflection and ensuring that the best practices are brought forward that help focus on filling organizational objectives.  Ensuring the brightest minds come forward is important for the health of the entire system.

Organizational change starts with breaking the delusion that manger's and their decisions are always correct. Strong managers and self-improving systems are always capable of taking in new information and using that information for improvement. Only when an organization becomes stuck in the same process does it run the risk of total failure, replacement, or collapse. Perceptions of perfection and a lack of fortitude to change are the enemy within.

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