Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ballistic Jelly Management

I was thinking about a behaviour I've encountered over the years.  That behaviour is something I have come to call Ballistic Jelly (gelatin) Management.

Ballistic Jelly Management happens when a layer of management (I won't use the term leadership for obvious reasons) charged with translating vision into action fails to make the translation.

The visual is a familiar one to those that watch any of the CSI television programs.  The bullet shot from a gun found at a crime scene into a block of ballistic gelatin and stopped with relative ease before it can escape to the jelly.

This layer of management that should be the translator of senior management vision to the organization just can't seem to do it.  Instead of showing leadership the Ballistic Jelly Managers act just like ballistic jelly, stopping the vision before it can spread.  I've seen this happen mostly in "old school" command and control type organizations where the leadership is trying to changed the organization into one that is more collaborative with open lines of communication in all directions.

Perhaps it is a generational thing or just self preservation.  I think it is more often an inability to fully grasp the vision and personally apply it.  It really is hard for some people to change from an information hoarding to a fully transparent information sharing mindset.

It really is a profoundly sad thing to see this happen.

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