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Symbolism

Symbolism

While it’s important to bring injustice and everyone’s accountability to eliminate it to public attention, I think you would agree that key is to do something about it and not merely acknowledge it. We need basic changes in the way we fund schools, the police response to human dignity, health care access, education access, and so forth.

We see the same things in many organizations. Management hangs signs on the walls (“We respect our employees”) out of some catalog, but creates cognitive dissonance by ignoring them. I was working with a hospital CEO in whose organization many managers were brutal to employees and doctors were obnoxious to nurses. He pointed to one such sign and asked me how morale could still be so low. I said, “Bill, you think people believe what they read on the walls or what they see in the halls?”

Keep that in mind the next time one of your clients wants to believe that words are more important than behavior.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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