…that’s the Question that Keeps Us Sitting on Our Fences.
I’ve been researching and writing about what we fondly call “the elephant in the room.” The elephant stands for all the things no one talks about in an open forum; the topics that feel too difficult to bring up. However, elephant topics ARE discussed – after the meetings – in an unmanaged and potentially destructive, rather than constructive manner.
We all have our varied reasons for choosing not to speak. Regardless of the reason for keeping silent on an issue, this lack of open and authentic dialogue IS hurting your organization. In a hurting, or “unhealthy” organization, we often see:
- Confusion around decisions made
- Unclear or unspoken expectations; soon to become UNMET expectations
- Lack of commitment and follow-through
- Lack of accountability
- Low morale
- Low productivity
- Low trust
- Turnover or disengagement of good employees
Do you know how much these markers are costing your organization annually? Many executives I work with have attempted educated guesses; the $$ are staggering. Think in terms of:
- Low productivity. Research conducted by Proudfoot Consulting found that on average only 59% of work time is productive1.
- Politics, hidden agendas, & posturing; all of which skew the picture of “reality” to the organization’s executives
- Time wasted revisiting discussions and decisions over and over
- Turnover. Studies show that between 10% & 30% of turnover cost is directly attributable to poor management practices2
- Delay in product to market time
- Customer disengagement; customer lost to competition
In contrast, a healthy organization is unburdened by the time, energy, and resources the above attributes consume. I’ll talk more about attributes of a healthy organization in future blog posts. In the meantime, here’s a question for you:
– In those moments, when you decided to keep silent, why? What held you back?
Don’t miss my e-booklet, “Acknowledging Elephants: Making Peace with the Elephants in the Room.”
1 Proudfoot Consulting. (2002). Untapped Potential-The Barriers to Optimal Corporate Productivity. Available online at www.proudfootconsulting.com
2 Branham, L. (2005). The Seven Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave. New York: American Management Association