Thursday, 24 May 2012 17:42

Ogres disrupt the workplace...

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Ogres disrupt the workplace...

Ogres can exist at any level in an organization.

Are you an ogre? Do you know an ogre? Ogres come from many backgrounds and can be any color, gender, belief system, or orientation. But ogres are easy to spot. What gives them away? Perhaps, it is the Ogres' lack of etiquette in the office place. Or is it the ogres' dysfunctional (or broken) ethical compass. Whether you are an Ogre or the victim of an Ogre, there are five Ogre specific disruptors of performance you should look out for that will negatively affect you and your stakeholders...

1. Disruptor -- OGRES dominate the clock and calendar. Not to be confused with agents of change, ogres do not trust in the maturity of reasonable adults to prioritize and/or schedule their activities. At the same time, ogres ferociously protect their own schedule. Ogres are monstrous to the priorities and deadlines of everyone around them -- often "appropriating" crisis, abusing meetings, and interrupting projects.

Ogre defenders (trolls) may advance arguments of "dynamic tension" or that it is the ogres' privilege. The abuse is both unprofessional and must not be tollerated. The people and processes ogres disrupt must compensate (or compromise) their schedules to offset temporal disruptions. Lacking an appropriate (and equally powerful) compensator, you and your organization will be forced to scurry about "reactively" like crazed ants in a freshly stirred up ant bed.

2. Disruptor -- OGRES demand superfluous reporting. Not to be confused with agents of change, ogres fear what they can not observe and bash what they do not understand. Ogres lurch about and are incrediblly ignorant. Ogres don't know what they don't know yet. However, instead of seeking actionable and meaningful data, ogres believe data is an end in itself -- the more the better. So they require volumes of "activity" reports -- instead of focusing on reporting real "results."

Ogre defenders (trolls) will venture the slippery-slope that something is better than nothing. Such an argument is fallacious. People and processes must compensate for what becomes an obvious emerging dual standards of performance (real vs. perceived). Ogres get lost in their own activity until it becomes more about form over function... presentation over substance. This creates moral/ethical tornadoes about the ogre. These moral/ethical tornadoes reek havoc on the staff commitment, morale, and loyalty. This has a vampiric effect on the organizational energy level. As the energy level drops so does effeciency, effectiveness, and productivity.

3. Disruptor -- OGRES tell you HOW to work. Ogres require you to do the work the way work “has always been done” in the ogre swamp. No ideas, no experience, and no knowledge will contribute to greater productivity. Ogres know best -- everything. Ogres dismiss ideas to be sure things are done the "right way.”

The people and processes must compensate to accommodate dynamic business conditions, staff retention becomes challenging, core competency declines, and innovation suffers.

4. Disruptor -- OGRES share responsibility, never authority. Ogres champion unnecessary approvals and layers of bureaucracy. They are the gatekeepers in any workflow; however, rarely are they the responsible party for process delays.

The people and processes must compensate in order to evolve and maintain the management of change and the service management lifecycle.

5. Disruptor -- OGRES wield raw power. Ogres fling power about casually -- "just because it suits them to do so." Beyond simply micro-managing how work gets accomplished, ogres have a visceral need to control people, places, and things. In an attempt at false-humility, ogres often struggle to subordinate themselves or their importance (very often in the presence of their superiors). At the same time, the power often consumes them; the power makes them very self-interested, uncompromising, and myopic. They then often bloviate on issues that shifts the focus of attention on their self-importance.

This is at the heart of the ogre frame of mind. Ogres believe they have a sense of entitlement -- instead of having a sense of duty and teamwork. Ogres don't understand that they are there to serve the interests of the organization. In total, ogres believe the organization (the people, processes, and/or technology) is there to serve their career and/or personal needs... and ogres will make every excuse to justify and defend selfish reasoning.

People and processes are forced to compensate for an ogre and expend organizational energy to transform "raw" power into something focused and meaningful.

With an ogre positioned comfortably behind a gate (any gate), the question you must ask yourself... when torch-bearing customers march, who is really guarding that gate?

Are you the Ogre? Ogress? Does your (inner) ogre serve and uplift the organization? Or is it the other way around?

Read 2669 times Last modified on Saturday, 21 February 2015 15:12
Rich Wermske

My pedigree and bona fides are published elsewhere. That said, I respect that a few may wish to learn more about the private person behind the writing.  While I accept I am exceptionally introverted (tending toward the misanthropic), I do enjoy socializing and sharing time with like-minded individuals. I have a zeal for integrity, ethics, and the economics of both interpersonal and organizational behavior.

The product of multi-generational paternal dysfunction, I practice healthy recovery (sobriety date December 11, 2001).  I am endogamous in my close personal relationships and belong to a variety of tribes that shape my worldview (in no particular order):

☯ I participate in and enjoy most geek culture. ☯ I am a practicing Buddhist and a legally ordained minister. I like to believe that people of other spiritual/faith systems find me approachable.  I am a member of the GLBTQA community -- I married my long-time partner in a ceremony officiated by Jeralita "Jeri" Costa of Joyful Joinings on November 18, 2013, certificated in King County, Seattle WA. We celebrate an anniversary date of February 2, 2002.  I am a service-connected, disabled, American veteran (USAF).  I am a University of Houston alumnus (BBA/MIS) and currently studying as a post baccalaureate for an additional degree in Philosophy and Law, Values, & Policy.  I am a retired Bishop in the Church of Commerce and Capitalism; the story arch of my prosecuting and proselytizing the technological proletariat is now behind me.  I am a native Houstonian (and obviously Texan).  At 50 years old, I am a "child of the sixties" and consider the 80's to be my formative years.

As I still struggle with humility, I strive to make willingness, honesty, and open mindedness cornerstones in all my affairs. Fourteen years of sobriety has taught me that none of "this" means a thing if I'm unwilling, dishonest, or close minded.  Therefore I work hard on the things I believe in --

  • I believe we can always achieve more if we collaborate and compromise.
  • I believe that liberal(ism) is a good word/concept and something to be proud to support.  The modern, systematic corruption of liberal ideas is a living human tragedy.
  • I believe in a worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The pragmatism of this site and my journey is rooted in both classical and social liberalism.
  • I believe in democratic elections and institutions including a media free of commercial and governmental bias.  Liberty and equality perish when a society becomes uneducated and/or ill-informed.
  • I believe in diversity of life and ideas.  Life and ideas can only flourish when the gene pool is vast and abundantly differentiated.
  • I believe in advancing balance in civil, social, and privacy rights such that all of humanity is continuously uplifted.
  • I believe in separation of church (spirituality) and state (governance) -- with neither in supremacy nor subjugation.
  • I believe in private (real or tangible) property explicitly excluding ideas, knowledge, and methods; such non-tangibles, by natural law, being free for all humanity and emancipated at conception.

While change and the uncertainty of the future may be uncomfortable, I do not fear the unknown; therefore:

    • I believe I must be willing to make difficult choices, that those choices may not be all that I desire, and that such may result in undesirable (or unintended) consequences;
    • I believe we must be willing to make mistakes or be wrong; and I am willing to change my mind if necessary.
I undertake to abide the five precepts of Buddhism; therefore:
  1. I believe it is wrong to kill or to knowingly allow others to kill.
  2. I believe it is wrong to steal or to knowingly allow others to steal.
  3. I believe in abstention from sexual misconduct.
  4. I believe it is wrong to lie or to knowingly allow others to lie.
  5. I believe in abstention from non-medicinal intoxicants as such clouds the mind.

Suicide, major depression, borderline personality, and alcoholism are feral monsters ever howling at my doorstep. However, despite my turbulent and tragic past, rare is the day where I have to rationalize, defend, or justify the actions of that person I see looking back at me in the mirror...

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