Funeral home #1 is comprised of well meaning people who are more committed to personal survival than the welfare of the company, its goals or their teammates. They believe that getting along and being liked by everyone, doing what you are told without question and rarely if ever deviating from rules and policies is the best way to survive. They interact with others in cautious and tentative ways in order to protect their own security. They are threatened by having to take reasonable risks to go beyond expectations with customers or peers. In order to safeguard against criticism or punishment they cling to rules and policies and hide behind them despite the fact they know that the efficiency they produce interferes with the effectiveness of the overall organization.
Managers often act as firefighters reacting to problems as they occur. The reward system favors lone heroes who bear the burden of success but not failure as blame is shifted to others. Punishment is more frequent than reward. Managers underestimate the abilities of staff, preferring, instead, people do as they are told and nothing else. Obedience proliferates where initiative should be preferred. Heroes are narrowly defined as those who produce the highest sales average.
New initiatives are often thwarted passively by being “cooperatively, uncooperative.” Failure to adapt to change is often overlooked because the “excuses” seem so reasonable. For instance, “I can’t make the new daily meeting because I have an urgent request from a family,” or “I just had to get the vault ordered.” Leadership is often undermined as influential staff hold court in informal “water cooler talks” with other staffers to voice their discontent or rebellion.
Conflicts are avoided in the belief that avoidance fosters harmony. Interpersonal problems are swept under the rug, avoided or left to resolve themselves. If asked, people claim they are just one big family but secretly harbor unaddressed resentment and frustrations with others.
It is a culture where more time is spent thwarting new initiatives than moving forward…but in the nicest way.
The prevailing attitude can be summed up: “The world is unfair and dangerous and my life sucks”
Management marvels at what nice people they have while lamenting that they have to continually supervise and think for them.