Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Head on the block

.... or more accurately head rolling away down the scaffolding platform with my eyes still blinking. I don't normally write about work on this blog. Partly for fear of getting fired for making public comments on my organisation and partly because that isn't normally what I feel the need to blog about. Well, today I really feel the need. I'm reckoning if you know me, you already know who I work for, and if you don't know me there is definitely not anywhere near enough information in this blog for you to work out where I do work.

At the moment I'm not sure whether I'm feeling like a total idiot or really, really angry - most likely a combination of the two. I think I went a bit too far in a paper I submitted to a group today. The Chair went ballistic and basically said he wasn't going to allow it to be discussed. He couldn't see why I'd written the paper, why I hadn't told him (breaching protocol I didn't know there was), where I'd got my conclusions from etc. and basically informed me that I was casting aspersions at an innocent party (the party by the way was not a person, but a policy).

Now, admittedly, my motivation for writing the paper had evolved along the way, I soon realised the little task that I wanted accomplished actually related to much wider issues. I still stand by my opinions and it actually makes me smile to think of what I didn't put in the paper. I am however worried that I
a) am going to get a b******ing from my line manager when/if he finds out; and
b) have permanently p*****d off at least two senior managers.
So those two things in particular make me feel like an idiot and that I should have kept my mouth shut. Put me in the naughty corner please.

I am also really, really angry that the group didn't actually get to discuss the subject of paper (they can turn the paper itself into paper airplanes for all care) - as it was immediately taken off the table by the chair. I'd done an initial background sweep of key managers (not all positive reactions but mostly) and I knew I had at least one other person present who would back me up in a debate. I'm also angry that I was right in my original suspicions there is no room in my organisation for anybody to: constructively criticise, make suggestions (my paper was a proposal), have ideas, or want to change anything. I just don't get it. I've never worked anywhere that is so mired in its past and unwilling to change. So much of what is done for the 'management' of the organisation - as opposed to what it is our business to do - is simply lip service. There is no sense of the value of staff or the desire to make it a great place to work.

Everyone is very keen to satisfy our external stakeholders, but I've never heard anything about internal stakeholders. Over this last year we've had a new 5-year strategic plan and several new internal strategies that have flowed from that. Staff were not briefed when the strategic plan was launched and haven't even been notified in many cases when major internal strategic documents have been approved. And they wonder why there is so much apathy? There is no accountability for strategic planning to the staff - if you say your going to do something or want something to happen that relates to us an organisation you should be accountable to your staff for that; not just to the Board of Directors. But if I make any noises in that direction I get told either to shut up or to stop being so naive or both.

Well I'm going to have to follow the advice of the loyal and wise Husband: accept that I'm just going to always have to keep my mouth shut and my head down, or start looking for another job...


AdventuringJen said...

Many strokey knees! I hope it works out...even if that actually means a new job...xxx

Lex Ham Rand said...

Wow - bureaucratic organizations are the same on both sides of the pond.

So sorry to hear of this roadblock - perhaps it's time to get into a degree program (or is it programme?) so that you have a proper channel into which to divert your intellectual curiosity!

John said...

Maybe you do have to get a new job, but never keep your mouth shut and never keep your head down... Hang in there, I know the frustrations of bureaucracy...