Aside from putting up with BS about people, the great reason for far less than is possible performance in organisations is the failure to name the elephant in the boardroom, office, showroom, shop, factory, wherever, and humanely remove the beast.
Most of what could be better about an organisation is known yet unsaid. It is said underground and away from the organisation!
For 22 years I have been walking into organisations as an adviser and I am told, usually within an hour, of what could be better and yet no one has raised issues with insiders for fear of reprisal or fear for their jobs and other nasty reasons. A common reason is a cultural issue of not talking about what can be perceived as unpleasant.
If you are not naming the beast you are feeding the beast and need to stop.
Sometimes I name the elephants myself. Once or twice I have been thrown out for doing so! Usually I mentor people to name the elephants themselves. The outcome often is relief and very quickly elephants are humanely removed. Soon creativity and innovation happen. Often the reaction is why was this not spoken about before?
One of the great challenges facing leaders in the workplace is that most people don't yet excel at having conversations about performance when there is difficulty, conflict or disagreement.
If you are failing to have such conversations you are feeding the beast and need to stop.
The known not being said and a failure to excel at having conversations about performance when there is difficulty, conflict or disagreement is costing organisations billions, probably trillions. The biggest cost though is to human life.
Most of the great disasters of my life-time could have been avoided, and most of the trouble in organisations too. It takes someone on the inside to speak up and to do so long before a consultant or an auditor arrives.
Are you the person speaking up? If not you are feeding the beast and need to stop.
If you know it, speak it, otherwise you might be guilty of wilful blindness and a tragedy could be about to happen.
If you are afraid, for whatever reason, please find an ally inside your organisation and/or seek outside help today. I would personally welcome your call. I can help.
Like me you might find inspiration in reading Margaret Heffernan’s book Wilful Blindness - Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril or watching her TED talk.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.