If you head an outfit, try calling yourself up once in a while. You may be surprised by the defenses you have built for yourself and your managers. The young women attending to incoming calls in your office may need to be counseled at frequent intervals.
When asked to mediate between two colleagues of yours, seek the areas of agreement first. Take clear sides with one, so the responsibility to win rests squarely on the winner, without losing the cooperation of the loser.
When involved in a warring situation, learn to bow out and lose gracefully, if need be. The apparent winner would dread you while your superior could end up appreciating you.
This is a malaise every workplace is stricken with. You may have a set of intelligent, obedient and relevant people working for you. But it is quite likely that half of them would have fallen into the trap of complacency. They would have become critical of the company/department, would be working in a comfort zone, and would be displaying a singular lack of initiative. They would no longer have the shine in their eyes, and would surely not be operating on all four cylinders.
Your HR honchos would be neglecting this lot at the company’s long term peril. An anti-dote package could comprise a sustained program of employee engagement, elaborate mentorship, job rotation, sponsorships for advanced educational courses (either on-line or in the distance mode), recreational breaks and by simply spicing up their work life.
At the individual level, keep watching for signs of falling into the trap of complacency. Analyze, introspect and then speak to your seniors the moment you notice the zeal gone. Or, become a rolling stone and gather no moss!
Executives fighting their bosses when they feel the top dog is wrong is a good sign. Executives fighting between themselves in the boss’ presence is also the sure sign of a healthy work culture. Seniors airing their difference of opinion or berating their colleagues is an unhealthy sign.
Hire only a specialist, preferably a loner, to solve a specific well-defined problem for which an internal solution is not being found.
To win over internal dissent in the short run, it might help to hire a consultant who, being a rank outsider, might have a better acceptability and credibility with your own team.
Joined a company which strongly believes in creative accounting practices? Stick around there only at your own risk and peril. If it is a closely held outfit, the management may just manage to swing it for some time. If it is in the public domain, investors will eventually lose trust. If that happens, your pink slip can not to be too far behind.
The art of creative dissatisfaction keeps you expanding your frontiers of knowledge and thereby casting your influence net wider. Keep at it – you would never regret it in your career.