Friday, November 19, 2010

3D Juggling 504: The shocking truth about waste

Jane writes: "In the paper today (19 Nov 2010) was an article titled: ‘The shocking truth of Whitehall waste’.  This waste included £26,000 spent on training staff how to have difficult conversations. The training was designed to ‘help staff have increased confidence and capability’.  Unfortunately it didn't say for what purpose – the specific difference that this investment was intended to achieve.

OK, there are other ways that increased confidence and capability could be achieved. And we all need to find ways that have no cost, or very little cost, for our organisations/customers.

Maybe this is all about choices. Do we help staff to have conversations about the things they need to be talking about or, by not doing so, allow them to keep avoiding difficult issues for fear of the consequences? And these consequences are likely to be for them and for others. What if they are being bullied or harassed? What if their ideas are being stolen? How about when they discover things that could damage their organisation's reputation?

There are many interesting and challenging situations and behaviours emerging in organisations as they face austerity measures. It's not easy to tell people about the need to fundamentally change the service they have been providing for many years, or about redundancies.

So, do we help people learn how to have difficult conversations safely? Or do we all suffer the consequences -- which include all the time that gets wasted on trying to avoid the inevitable and recover when it happens?

Tell us what you think, and share a coffee with us to ask us how we can support you in finding ways of working with your organisation, or your customers, in ways that are affordable and deliver recognised improvements."

Discuss this week's juggling at

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