- “These things are very complicated, and we are trying to get our hands around the issue,”
- “We are just starting to study the issue, and have not gotten very far.”
I have heard coworkers, peers and supervisors report these statements to our bosses for three to six year periods of time. I also have solved the problems they were referring to and similar problems. Since my organizations overcame them, I have wondered when our bosses were going to say,
“Well, if one organization can overcome these issues, why can’t yours?”
“Consult with the leaders of the program that have overcome those issues, and come back with a report detailing the steps you will put in place to improve your organization’s performance.”
Without a demand for action, people will continue to get paid for not making progress in solving problems.
The Smoke Screen
I wonder what it is that makes leaders accept these smoke screens. Perhaps some leaders never have identified the mission they are paid to oversee, so they meander through the fog, not seeing clearly enough to even know where the organization is to ask intelligent questions that could compel positive direction.
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context, says, “Great leadership brings structure where ambiguity exists by providing straightforward and simplified approaches to explaining the various elements within a context that can seem so daunting. While it may make us feel important to [say] our jobs are complicated, difficult, and tough, great leadership demystifies complexities to provide simple, actionable direction so complexities are handled in bite-size, actionable chunks.” Thus, Albert Einstein negotiated very complicated information by simplifying it to E=MC2.