The Bias of Neutrality

I have been busy trying to initiate and deliver progress to the company. The uncommon sense of the activities is to remain balanced between the robotic strength of progress and the compassionate side of the disruption I am causing. Leading through change can be a lonely existence. The excitement of progress we create is only matched by the sadness of self-doubt that creeps into the folks where there is a seemingly never-ending request to change.

To write the next chapter of our history, we needed to turn the company on its head. We knew that to make it happen, we were going to become a new puzzle where some pieces that were solid were no longer going to fit – whether they were people, processes, or mindset. A major disruption was required. We had the handful of folks needed that embedded themselves into the future, making these changes possible. It has not happened without the emotional burden of being responsible for the disruption in people’s lives. Just like making “the old way” my mortal enemy to bring clarity to what I do not want, I am sure that some folks that are no longer with us making Resicom and I their mortal enemy brought clarity to what they do not want. The negative chatter and doubts are some of the expected costs of change that do not show up in a financial statement.

My caffeine for the road trip of transformation has been “What used to work but no longer does“. Answering and solving this question gives me the alertness to stay the sometimes rocky, cloudy course of change. Its these little wins that remind me of why its worth taking on this grand repositioning of the company. I love the intensity of the work.

There is the saying in the Oz Principle that you can’t be part of the solution unless you are part of the problem. Its easy for me to say I am part of the problem quickly and move on. There is something a little different happening right now. Sure there is the cut and dry part of taking responsibility for being part of the problem, but I have discovered a new error on my part. One that cuts a bit deeper. Its the understanding that my stance of “neutrality” actually is anything but neutral. 

Elie Wiesel, a holocaust victim, shared a simple, penetrating insight that put the entire load of struggles we have endured into my column of blame.  Stated simply, neutrality never helps the victim. On paper, I could justify that I was neutral and letting things play out between folks of authority. But in reality, my reluctance to get involved in the skirmishes of compliance resulted in arm wrestling matches where the non-compliant aggressor would win.  This made it nearly impossible for the people responsible for my goals of compliance to deliver it. By not taking a position, I was, in effect, supporting the efforts against my very own company policy. I should have engaged and corrected the aggressors. 

Everyone would have been better off if I would have handled the situations differently. But I didn’t, and now the quantity and size of issues I need to address to get the company prepared for its expansion plans are greater. All because I stayed “neutral” in skirmishes. Not anymore. I am more motivated than ever to address “What used to work but no longer does”. I am fully committed to engage the process pitfalls that undermine our strategy. And I am prepared to be anything but neutral in the battles of authority.

Good luck on your journey of self awareness. Find ways to be a part of the problem. If you can do that, you will be a welcomed, humble member of the solution team.