Oct 19 2018
“Edward R Murrow and Walter Cronkite were our rocks. Now the Internet funnels so many opinions and sources that it is difficult to know who and what to trust. More fundamentally, it has become difficult to agree on the facts. Your company is likely steeped in fake news too. It may be coming from the leadership team, from informal leaders, or from external influences. The confusing part is that those same groups can be the source of factual news. Who should people believe? It’s extremely hard to be ‘aligned’ or ‘operationally excellent’ or ‘world class’ if we can’t even agree on the basics.”
Source Target Online
Michel Baudin‘s comments: Becky is saying that communications inside a business organization are full of lies and she proposes remedies that are changes in individual behaviors: don’t make things up, facilitate open discussions, listen actively, build discussion skills, etc. But why do people lie at work?
Management mendacity persists through generations
Most don’t like to but find that they must in order to earn promotions or even keep their jobs. In The Project Game, we examined how managers rate project leaders as too timid unless they plan for the shortest task durations that don’t violate the laws of physics. To get or keep their assignment, the leaders make these claims, miss deadlines, and work desperately hard to finish. By surviving in this game, they secure promotions and carry on the same practices with the next generation. They may prefer to follow Becky’s recommendations but they can’t.
Truth-telling must start from the top
You cannot create a culture of truth-telling bottom-up. As long as managers pass over the truth-tellers, they perpetuate the rule of the best liars. This pattern can only be broken by top managers with the courage to offer “nothing but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” Their forthrightness then percolates through the ranks.