Temper Tantrums Don’t Work

From the Ask Tom mailbag –

How do you overcome the obstacles of silos when the silos are the organizational culture and come from the top?

Whenever I look at organizational underperformance, total throughput, all crumbs lead to the top. The culture an organization has, is the culture the organization deserves. And, all crumbs still lead to the top.

But your question is “What to do?”

Temper tantrums don’t work. Parents know that. Most management consultants who think they have the answer are behaviorists who have no children.

Visually, we can draw pictures of it. Interruptions in workflow, rough hand-offs from one function to another, undiscovered defects blamed on another department. Some CEOs believe a little internal competition keeps everyone sharp, when the product of that strategy may be counter-productive.

But it works in sports? Yes, but sports are not organized to accomplish work. Sports are organized for entertainment.

Indeed, what to do? Comments?

2 thoughts on “Temper Tantrums Don’t Work

  1. Mary Edwards

    Temper tantrums never worked in my parents house. However, are you implying that tantrums may work to facilitate change within an organizational culture??
    Sometime dumb remains dumb – or for a more fair assumption, sometimes the values of the employee never even aligned with the culture before employment began… Whose issue it is?

  2. Becky

    Functions of the human brain: fear, bias, ego are all at play here. A leader is one that knows how to react to problems using data and using their emotion (anger) to promote a positive action. I used to believe that you shouldn’t have emotion at work. However, that is simply not possible. Humans are emotional. When we can look at it and use the data we have collected, I believe that can create some space for positive, forwarding interactions and fewer tantrums. Also, we just need a zero tolerance policy on tantrums they don’t work in the long run and leave a bad taste that can linger and grow like a cancer in organizations.

    I’m curious about how others have handled the “tantrum” when they occur.


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