Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Alarming realisation about most people

I live in a world where I assume that everybody thinks a bit like me. I assume that the think most people crave in their meagre little lives is a sense of freedom to experiment, and an opportunity to be creative. To fix the things that are broken.

I am currently suffering from "roll out-itis" - my business is "standardising" everything.

In recent months I have struggled and fought against this, because in my view of the world, this is wrong.

I guess I also though that it was a waste of effort. Whether or not you believe that people should be free to improve their own working processes, it has been proven by giants such as Toyota that "rolling out" something that works in one location without consideration of cultural and political differences will fail.

However, yesterday two things happened to change my view point a little. The first was the level of enthusiasm for a 90 minute training program which is being rolled out across our business (step one of standardisation). The second is the level of comfort that our exec team gained from knowing they were following a proscribed process, and that they could not deviate.

Slowly it dawns on me that my way of thinking is unusual. Most people are happier following.

If I use an analogy of another group of animals that are notoriously good at following - a flock of sheep - that makes me a wild dog in their midst. And despite the fact that my intentions are honourable - that I am trying to stop the sheep dogs from guiding them into a wilderness - the leaders in the organisation just see my behaviour as that of a wild dog.

So, not entirely sure what to do with this revelation.

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