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Archive for April, 2014

“Instead of dragging their feet to fulfill a plan that had been imposed on them, the team members left the meeting committed to making the contract work. It would be stressful, but because of their active participation, delivering the goods turned from a nightmare to an exciting challenge.”

The Dwindling Managers Meeting

When Companies neglect basic change management strategies woe be to them that do.

I watched the Managers meeting dwindle, the grant writer with 14 years of experience within the company and demographically a white middle aged woman with a BA who had organized the overall grant procedures distilled the times dates and information in to spread sheets for ease of usage and reporting. She was accused of not knowing her job. Which increased his workload increased due to his “revamping the grant calendar” and him ending up doing the company’s grant reports that he should have been in charge of in the first place …. Which lead to the meeting that could have been entitled. You lazy managers need to do your own reporting…. As if we were not doing it before he forced the grants manager to resign. We ended up sending him the old grant manager spread sheets…. She was not replaced.

Then there was the last year law student accused of messing up a federal grant-reporting audit and demographically a white middle-aged woman with a BA in Criminal Justice and once semester away from her JD. Resigned to spend more time with her family. Replacing her with a 38-year-old  man of color. Who has a GED who was entering his first year at the local community college.

Then there was the manager with a MA, who resigned after 35 years with the company. Demographically a white middle-aged woman with an advanced degree, offering her a lower level job when her department dissolved. She resigned and they hired a woman of color, who told me she has a MA in business administration, the scuttlebutt is that she didn’t finish her BA at a mediocre school, but she’s related to the manager’s wife.

There was another woman, demographically white middle-aged  woman accused of red-lining clients, this was within his first month or so, and hired a man of color who was a find, one of the best managers I have ever known. Score one for the team. Oh that’s right the previous Prog. Manager and the old management team hired him.

There have been some editions, all people of color, placed in rolls that can be easily dissolved and  moved laterally to take over other positions. The last demographically white guy in the company that has no friendship or familial tie to the PM can be shoved out of the way.

Oh there are a few white people left, one an entry-level 25-year-old white woman married to a Latino guy. The other a supervisor a 30 something, married to a man of color ,  who fulfills the grant requirement for education. The 30 something white guy who is the HR manager with a BA in communications who manages the Latina woman who worked in a big tellacom HR department. I could see the writing on the wall on that one. Lastly the Financial dept, who are on contract from a temp agency.

Each manager’s meeting after each manager had resigned the trumped up excuses were given that the manager, neglected, falsified or failed to do some arcane task that affected some unmentioned regulation or requirement. None of which could be corroborated by a paper trail.   It’s just a coincidence that demographically they were all white middle aged women with advanced degrees.

And then it was my turn…

I was sitting in a meeting one day when a guy who was supposed to be a change management expert read a very positive change management topic from a Xerox copy of a book. The text book of a pricey PM course he’d just finished. The course he’d been forced to take. We would be allowed to have chapter by chapter rather than be able to read ahead. Because, we would not understand it unless he prepared us, even though at least two of us had masters and extensive years in mgmt. training and change management.

I digress, His statement was:

“People resist change, and added those of you who do, will not be moving forward with us.”

This is after starting the first three manager meetings of the year with,

“Even after the problems you have all had in your departments. You still have your jobs.” and variants of the statement.

What he didn’t explain is that those problems were directly related to his incompetence as a Prog. manager and lack of basic project management skills that he said he had when we hired him. He’d had a glimpse, and now as a convert was the expert. Perhaps he had begun to see that we did our parts, he didn’t do his and blamed others for it when he missed deadlines. He lost/denied purchase orders for room improvements, equipment already approved in the budge, refused to approve comp time, but we all had to work it anyway. it took me 4-6 months to buy penciles. I still have not been paid for my travel expenses.

After a year of being stonewalled, belittled and used as a bad example in meetings when three of us left with management skills showed any forward thinking. I went home and wept for Drucker, and the weapon that his MBO tool had been used as. Our Mgt team’s suggestion of using 360’s for quality improvement were okay at the workers levels and for each other as managers, but not for lower levels upwards to him as we didn’t have the scope of understanding to evaluate his performance. BTW, I am demographically identifiable a white middle-aged woman with advanced education.

I came into work and quit the next day. I feel so much better.

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