Sabotaged by Invisible Insecurity

The company I work for is undergoing a major self assessment.  The new CEO wants everyone to question the way work is now being done, and he wants us to suggest better ways to accomplish goals. 

A team, with representatives from every level in the company, is in charge of gathering and examining suggestions, as well as coordinating improvement.  I imagine that this exercise will definitely help the company become more effective and efficient.  I know some colleagues who are also using the assessment as a catharsis to voice opinions that they've previously just muttered among close coworkers.

But (there's always a "but") my boss isn't too excited about this exercise.  I think he's a bit paranoid, expecting that there'll be some suggestions—that he'll view as complaints—about his managerial activities.  I consider him to be a good manager, but not a great one. 

Anyway, he has insisted that each of his staff members go through him in forwarding opinions on how we can improve the company.  Of course, this means that some opinions won't be expressed.  Here are some of the items I would like to tell the coordinating team:  1) I'd like to be informed when my boss learns about general corporate strategy changes.  In this way, I can at least begin thinking about how I can be most useful when a change does occur. (Change seems to be a constant these last few years.)  2) I wish we would get direct, and more rapid, feedback regarding our contributions. 3) The computer support group needs to be much more responsive when we have problems.

The first point is, so far, the only one of these that I mentioned to my boss.  He immediately responded that it would be too difficult to explain to everyone what was going on at the corporate level. He finished with, "We need to concentrate on our assignments.  That's all!"

I could have predicted that response.  He's the kind of person who's unlikely to take on any new initiative.  He also seems to have a real distaste about criticizing people, and even suggesting how they may improve.  He's one of these "nice guys" mentioned in a previous Forum. Unfortunately, I imagine that it would be tough working with him if he would find out that I bypassed him and went directly to the coordinating committee with my comments.

Here we are, a company that wants to improve, but has an individual who's going to make it more difficult to change.  It seems to me that my boss' boss should know about my boss' insecurity and should be dealing with it.  And what about my boss' boss' boss?  Good intentions are sabotaged by insecurities that are never exposed.

Too bad!


©2000 Winston J. Brill & Associates. All rights reserved.