Dysfunction junction: A round-up of not-so-great management practices

Hello, dear readers! I’ve gathered some recent and not-so-recent blog posts on dysfunctional management practices and related topics. Do any of these fit your workplace? If so, what can we do about it?

Consultants and the “outsourcing of leadership” (2014) — “Take a look around your workplace. Are there consultants buzzing around, addressing practically every major pending concern or decision your organization faces? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then it’s likely that your employer is engaging in what a friend of mine brilliantly calls the ‘outsourcing of leadership.'”

Want better productivity? Fewer, more focused meetings may help (2013) — “Meetings are a necessary piece of organizational life. But good meetings are the exception to the norm. All too often, meetings are giant time and energy suckers. Fewer and smarter meetings would benefit everyone except those who like to sit in a room and yammer.”

“Can we help you with the problems we caused?” The ironies of employee assistance and wellness initiatives (2013) — “In less-than-wonderful workplaces, however, EAPs and wellness initiatives can play an ironic role: They exist in part to deal with the dysfunctional and unhealthy aspects of the organization itself.”

On creating organizational culture: What if your boss simply doesn’t care? (2013) — “But what about bosses who don’t think much at all about the quality of work life within their organizations? What if notions such as supportive work environments, fair compensation structures, and organizational justice don’t cross their radar screens? What if all that matters to them are profits/revenues, avoiding liability, pleasing their boards & superiors, and getting ahead?”

One-way feedback: In-house surveys and the illusion of open decision making (2012) — “A recent conversation at a conference confirmed my suspicions: More organizations are using online, “anonymous” surveys to get feedback from their employees. This practice appears to be especially common during strategic planning or organizational assessment stages.”

Is our psychologically ill economy fueled by psychologically ill business leaders? (2011) — “During the three years I have hosted this blog, I’ve written a lot about the devastating effects that bullying bosses can have on individual psyches and careers. As these commentaries and studies show, many of these individuals also are wreaking havoc on our larger economic and social infrastructures.”

“Strategic planning”: All too often, a time sucking bridge to nowhere (2011) — “My friends in management consulting may toss me out of the visitor’s lounge for saying this, but two words uttered together send a chill up my spine: Strategic planning.”

How lousy organizations treat institutional history (2011) – “Bad organizations avoid accountability by labeling any unjust, unethical, illegal, or simply inept behavior as part of the past. Those who seek discussions of, or explanations for, such actions or behaviors are criticized for dwelling upon the past, even if that past is a relatively recent occurrence.”

Why so many managers are mediocre or bad: They weren’t promoted because they are good leaders (2011) — “This has been a recurring observation, repeated by different individuals in different circles, in person and online: So many people who are in positions of authority were put there for reasons other than their leadership ability.

When bad employers retain thuggish employment lawyers (2011) — “They distort, intimidate, and delay. They take a worker’s minor faults or mistakes and elevate them into major deficiencies. They help their clients sweep horrible behaviors and actions under the rug. They use legal process to deplete, torture, and humiliate everyday workers.”

6 responses

  1. Hi David – a great “round-up” for sure and continues to be very pertinent to todays workplaces.

    By identifying dysfunctions we can create psychologically healthy and safe workplaces that will avoid or counter these practices – I believe a key factor is to integrate psychologically healthy and safe practices in the employment cycle from hiring, orientation, day to day team norms, workload management, promotion, rewards and recognition right up to retirement and even when you need to terminate or lay off employees.

    I really enjoy your site and have encouraged others to use it.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Jakobson

  2. David, your post concerning a psychologically ill society, along with the many links you provided, makes this one of the most interesting posts I have ever read.

    There is a wealth of information here . Thanks for re-posting your work.

    Peace to You,

    Kevin Kennemer

    The People Group



    Sent via my iPhone 4GS

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