Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/09/2020
The Wall Street Journal, for my money the best written newspaper in the world, published a piece over the weekend about the need to keep employees happy, even to the extent of violating their privacy to make sure they’re happy! (I am not making this up.) I’ll concede that I don’t normally see happy customers when there are unhappy employees in a “high touch” operation.
But keeping employees happy is hardly a critical strategic goal. I actually endorse creative tension, and healthy conflict, and open debate and disagreement. I recall when I consulted with HP for ten years and at the outset I found a long sequence of “pre-meetings” before a major meeting to ensure no one was in disagreement during the “big show.” I told them to knock it off.
If you can disagree with others’ opinions based on examples and facts, and refrain from ad hominem attacks, everyone benefits. I’ve told countless numbers of buyers after an introduction to a new project during which there were no objections or questions that we had a major problem. Objections and even skepticism are signs of interest. Silence and passive agreement are signs of apathy or fear to speak out. Frondeurs, however, are welcome.
If you don’t agree, I’m sure you’ll send me a note before Tuesday. That’s why you read Monday Morning Memo, and it’s why I write it.
The beginning of thought is in disagreement—not only with others but also with ourselves.—Eric Hoffer
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