Keep Your Boss Ignorantly Happy?

CNN Money has just reported that managers that encourage loyal opposition can better avoid corporate disaster.

Nowadays, especially with the state of our economy, it is easy to fall into a yes-man culture, especially since many more workers feel insecure about their jobs.

Many employees are afraid to give their bosses bad news.  They would be saying no to their superior and many feel like they could be risking their job.

The dilemma they face is do they divulge particular information to their bosses even if it is undesirable to do so.  The answer according to Menlo CEO Rich Sheridan is yes.

Sheridan suggests that companies that foster this new type of “open” relationship enjoy better decision-making, more ethical behavior and the ability to truly harness the collective brainpower of the workforce.

“My job is to say, ‘Thank you for letting me know’ not ‘I need you to work an extra 10 hours tonight, ‘” affirms Lisa Ho, 26, a Menlo project manager.  “Sometimes it’s hard to do because we have this deadline we’re trying to meet.  But I respect them for telling me and as long as we’re very transparent…I can call the client.”

An example of how other companies are beginning to implement this type of “open” environment can be seen through Grand Circle Corps a travel and cruise company.    Their employees are graded on their open communication.  During a monthly meeting, executives answer staff questions for half an hour, and the people who ask outstanding questions are recognized in the company’s newsletter.

Alan Lewis, Grand Circle CEO, confirms, “The reason you want your employees to raise hot issues is that’s where you’ll learn about bottlenecks…You’ll see where you have organizational issues.

Do you think your company encourages this type of “open” environment ?

One response to “Keep Your Boss Ignorantly Happy?”

  1. Keith D. says:

    Mine doesn’t. It’s more concerned about “winning.” It seems to me that at the top, the concern is more about being right than being correct. The decisions I’ve seen made and the way I’ve seen things handled suggest that there is more interest in bravado than actual performance. I’m not alone in that assessment. That’s been the case in almost every company I’ve ever worked for (at the level I understood things at the time) except one, and partially one other. Those exceptions also happened to be wildly more successful in their industries than the rest were in theirs.

    So in my working experience, this is true. It’s also true in my personal life. It’s not possible to deal with an issue you’re not aware exists. Those who are better at listening and hearing, and those who are more quickly and easily able to adapt to the truth are the ones who seem to make the better decisions and enjoy greater successes.

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