Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Innovative Leadership?

Consultant: How many employees and managers in this department are truly bad? By that I mean how many have terrible attitudes and overall performance that is below standards?

Executive: Out of 20 managers, I'd say two are close to that. Out of 200 employees, there are probably seven who would fit that description.

Consultant: Do you know who they are?

Executive: Oh, sure. I can name them.

Consultant: Then why are they still here?

Executive: Well, it's hard to fire people nowadays. The lawyers get involved and the folks at the top are afraid of getting sued.

Consultant: But upper management probably doesn't feel the full effect of their problem behavior. The people in the field must see it every day.

Executive: That's true. The questionable managers sort of kiss up and kick down. Even with that though, they can be pretty unpleasant. If they're jerks with me, I can imagine what they're like with the employees.

Consultant: Have you tried to fire any of them?

Executive: No, but we've heard stories from other departments and then you read things in the newspapers. It seems easier just to put up with them until they decide to jump ship or do something so stupid that they force our hand. We have thought of just assigning all of them to a remote location.

Consultant: So you'd create a turkey farm.

Executive: Well, of course we wouldn't call it that. It'd get some bureaucratic name. But the good news is they'd be away from everyone else.

Consultant: Do you think that's a good move?

Executive: No. I realize we should either correct them or fire them but a turkey farm is certainly better than nothing. Do you think we'd get an award for innovative and creative management?

Consultant: I'm afraid that one's already been done.

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