Sticking a live wire into your company

by todaystrainingblog

There are many times when a change in culture, either at a corporate or local level, needs to be accomplished. You expect a new manager to totally change it, overnight. But, there is no quick fix for anything at the corporate level. Others can be brought in, who have no clue of the issues you face, which happens all too frequently, and then they fail at their primary job, shocking the culture.

It is the words ‘all too frequently’ which is the problem with trying to change the culture in companies. Unfortunately, it is also quite reasonable that the new manager can, and will, be spoiled by those who refuse to change with new philosophies. Those people, no matter if they are employees or supervisors, can be effective at throwing smoke screens at the new manager, and obfuscating the fact they are only biding their time and actually avoiding the changes.

When the manager finally realizes it’s happening this way, they get frustrated and for expediencies sake won’t discipline or terminate those who are the ones refusing to change. In many respects it is the cost of replacing them if nothing else. Being succinct, the inmates are running the insane asylum.

It is usually the senior management/C-suite which is putting pressure on the manager to do with what they have and not make waves…although they brought them in to make those waves, as a show of faith to other employees that they can point to showing that  they are trying to remedy the problems within the company. What they need is a live wire stick to their skin.

The fact that I haven’t done this often doesn’t mean that it won’t work on any company, branch, or site. Usually it’s been done on a security post with less than 10 people, which is the best place to begin the transformation. I don’t really fit the corporate image of a transformational guru or agent of change.

Mainly because I follow the book, my favorite business book of all time, ‘it ain’t broke, then break it’, which of course goes against all, even with the tech industry, corporate dogma and conventional wisdom. Corporate managers and execs don’t really embrace attitudes like mine very well because of the hornets’ nest I generally stir up.


The Problems:

The culture in your company may be rotten, like a 5 day old apple core, and you know it by an array of items that are occurring on a continual basis;

Turnover of employees

Overtime is beyond manageable

Mistakes everyone makes them, but some are just too egregious

Reports are not professional, in any manner

Forgetting to change the disk, or tape, for the CCvs, which allows potential crimes to go unreported

Attendance problems, which in turn leads to overtime and turnover

There are, more than likely a myriad of other issues besides these. So now you know what the symptoms of the problem are; now you have to find the original issue. And that is probably the hardest part of all. Because it can be detailed oriented and time consuming for you to discover it.

You will have to spend hours, days, weeks, or possibly even months to figure out the main issue that is causing the problems. To do this you should employ the method that I prefer, to talk to everyone and take careful notes of the 5 W’s & H of journalism and report writing. Who, what, when, where, why and how they say it.

In this instance it is the manager that needs to be the one asking questions and not an outsider. It doesn’t matter where the questions arise from, his own observations or accusations, just that the employer knows their people. If the manager is potentially the problem then a consultant will be, unfortunately, mandatory.

In addition to taking copious notes on the items that are discussed with the officers, there are a couple of other things that need to be watched closely: Are they nervous or have anxiety? What’s their body language? Are they being overly calm? You have to pick up on the little subtleties of their body language and tone of their voices. As you probably know, what is left unsaid can be louder than what is vocalized.

(Look for the 2nd part of this next week)


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

          I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear