Ten Rules for Stifling Change
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
"The Change Masters"
- Regard any new idea from below with suspicion - because it is new and because it is from below.
- Insist that people who need your approval to act first go through several other layers of management to get their signatures.
- Ask departments or individuals to challenge and criticise each other's proposals.
- Express your criticisms freely and withhold your praise (that keeps people on their toes). Let them know they can be fired at any time.
- Treat problems as a sign of failure.
- Control everything carefully. Count anything that can be counted, frequently.
- Make decisions to reorganise or change policies in secret and spring them on people unexpectedly (that also keeps people on their toes).
- Make sure that any request for information is fully justified and that it isn't distributed too freely (you don't want data to fall into the wrong hands).
- Assign to lower-level managers, in the name of delegation and participation, responsibility for figuring out how to cut back, lay off or move people around.
- Above all, never forget that you, the higher-ups, already know everything important about this business.
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