Lets Be Candid

by Jay Deragon on 03/03/2014

candidBureaucracies have brainwashed many people into thinking “nothing can change so “hide the truth”, don’t put things out in the open because it isn’t politically correct. Now the web has encouraged and enabled candid conversations about anything and everyone.

The social web is dangerous to bureaucracies because it enables all stakeholders to openly discuss and share the very issues that bureaucracies have hidden.  the human spirit has been deadened by the influence of bureaucracies and now it is awakening and speaking out.

Jack Welch, The legendary leader who transformed GE writes: “Death to Bureaucracies. That may sound harsh, but hidebound behavior is a business-killer: Damages? How about deadens? That’s a better word to describe what bureaucracy does; it sucks the life out of a business. It turns normal people, granted a smidgen of authority, into rule-bound technocrats and twists candid conversation about real issues into jargon-laden gobbledygook. In short, bureaucracy gums up the works. It’s a competitiveness killer.”

So why do people put up with it? Probably because bureaucracy just seems like too big a monster for any one person to slay. And we’d agree, unless that person happens to be the leader. After all, it is leaders who set the tone for their organizations through the values they choose and the behaviors they show. And ultimately, it is leaders, and leaders alone, who have the power to set a bureaucracy eradication process in motion.

What most business leaders don’t understand today is that the social web is a medium that has set the eradication process in motion. Nothing can be hidden and the more people who become engaged the greater the reach of the conversations and all things will be revealed.

Consumers Discuss & Report

The old publication “Consumer Reports” will be replaced with “Consumers Discuss” and those conversations are  available for the world to see and for businesses to learn from. This is a scary reality for many business leaders who are threatened by all this open and frank conversation about everything and anything. Worse, the ability of “customers” to connect with other customers and employees to connect with other employees is yet another scary thought for any bureaucracy.

As Jack Welch says “If you’re a business leader, you can’t surrender to the status quo, either. True, you will never be able to eliminate every vestige of deadening bureaucracy. But try like crazy anyway. The upside is huge. All it takes is courage.”

The challenge is to let go and let the people engage and solve your problems. It is called empowerment and people have sought it for generations. A very wise man once said ” a wise man seeks the counsel of many”. Lets see how many wise business leaders will be in adopting the principles of the social web. “The upside is huge. All it takes is courage.”

How much courage do you have ?

{ 1 comment }

Bharat March 5, 2014 at 8:05 am

Hi Jay,
I don’t believe bureaucracies alone have brain washed people into complacency or fear alone have stopped people from speaking out. The “web” has certainly provided the same 10 to 20% of change minded people a broader platform to talk against “status quo” as well as ability to build coalitions quickly. I think most people understand change, however, most people enjoy their comfort zone as well. So when the impact is not clear or is perceived to be adverse personally and/or professionally people are passive or skeptical.
I am sure business leaders feel more pressure to move faster, however, the organization can’t just make changes without focus and clear end results. The leadership challenge is to be able to quickly assess the impact of change and guide it rather than wait till it happens or does not happen. The leaders must proactively create a culture of empowerment and less bureaucracies and lead by example.
Change without purpose creates chaos.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: