I hear a lot of stories talking with people about being a Rebel at Work.
Many people are angry at not being heard. Some are sad that their organizations are on a bad downward spiral, with management rallying around what no longer works. Others have checked out of work and checked into being complacent and “just getting the paycheck.”
For a while the complacent ones got to me the most. To go to work every day and not give a rat’s ass just seems like giving up on life itself.
And the cynicism? Scorching. It would be tough to work with someone with that kind of negative mindset.
But the stories that get to me the most are the people who don’t try to change anything because of the CHANGE MYTH. These people have come to believe — or been led to believe — that if you’re going to try to fix problems you
After hearing about the release of “Rebels at Work” next month a friend told me that we should write a prequel called “Train Wrecks.”
“There are so many stories about messes at work that could have been avoided if managers had listened to employees. It never fails to amaze me at how long managers can deny a problem.”
You don’t have to look far to find train wrecks at work — where good rebels warned that the train was going to go off the rails.
Financial train wrecks: How have big banks been able to get away with outrageous behavior, creating rippling financial shitstorms? The New York Fed, the chief U.S. bank regulator, created a culture where raising problems and asking questions was shunned. When Carmen Segarra, one of its regulators assigned to Goldman Sachs, actually went about doing her job — thinking that her and her employer’s job was to fix the
“Bill Torbert of Boston College once said to me that the 1960s slogan “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” actually misses the most important point about effecting change. The slogan should be:
“If you’re not part of the problem, you can’t be part of the solution.”
If we cannot see how what we are doing or not doing is contributing to things being the way that they are, then logically we have no basis at all, zero leverage, to change the way things are — except from the outside, by persuasion or force.”
Adam Kahane, author of Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening and Creating New Realities
Lois Kelly presentation on how to more effectively create change inside your organization. For American Express NGen Webinar series helping emerging leaders grow and develop essential skills.
Our systems — be they companies, government agencies, schools, churches or healthcare organizations — become brittle, rigid, bureaucratic, and sometimes even dangerous when there are no rebels or change makers who have the courage to say, “This isn’t the right way.” Look no further than General Motors’ recent debacle. This inspirational post reflects on what might happen in a world without rebels.