b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Because I'm the Boss, That's Why!



Because I'm the Boss, That's Why!

In the book The Dictionary of Corporate Bulls*** by Lois Beckwith, change management is defined as, “1. overseeing the process of change or transition in an organization. 2. consultant lingo for “cutting away the dead wood,” i.e., laying you off. An ugly process that senior management farms out to consulting firms so that the execs don’t have to deal with the messy business of restructuring.”

Change Management is an ugly phrase, bringing up a host of unpleasant images and feelings. This is why I don’t like the book Who Moved My Cheese. Same nonsense. It sounds to me like employees must be flexible enough to roll with the punches and adapt to changing environments. But, has anyone really looked at these changes?

People, when they are hired to do a job, are more or less at the mercy of their bosses and going to do what they are told… at least in theory (and let’s go with that theory please). I know in my last job, I was often asked to present a particular report in a variety of ways. It happened too that the boss would make countless changes to these reports before I finalized the product. All of this is fine and good because I was doing what I was hired to do. But, what made those changes any good? Suppose those changes were only to serve the egos of our managers? So then, if I were to speak up about a “change” like, perhaps I suggest things be done differently, why would I then be considered inflexible? It would make me inflexible and my boss a genius, because let’s face it; it couldn’t be the other way around now, could it?

Let’s also look at restructuring. This is one of my favorites.

Change Management + Restructuring = I QUIT

I’ll tell you why: I was hired to do one job with a semi-set realm of responsibilities. When I am thus “restructured” into a completely different job area with completely different responsibilities, the talent I was hired for is no longer being used. My guess is also that this is management’s way of letting someone go without needing the spine to actually fire them. Again, this makes them look like heroes while I’m “resistant to change”. Of course it couldn’t be the other way around.

I’m guessing that it’s management’s overall insecurity that enacts a lot of this "change management". But that’s just my guess.

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