I Don’t Agree

The Stalinist Soviet allowed no dissent, and neither does the Bait & Switch organization.

When the new boss arrived, he noted a doctored print ad someone had placed in the mess hall. It showed happy customers and smiling employees, to which some people attached pithy notes. As criticism goes it was so mild it actually looked like praise.

That’s gone now of course. The putsch to clean up malingerers and non-believers cleansed us all of any thoughts other than deification of the almighty owners and their politbureau. How could it be any other way?

It might be otherwise if someone understood that internal dissent is normal. It could also be the best management barometer of employee feelings. All the 360 degree review and other B-School nonsense won’t get to the hearts of people as much as watching the under-the-radar stuff, of the type recently removed.

You could even take that idea and go so far as to encourage open dissent. Provide a place for it – a whiteboard or similar – and critically, anonymity. Simply expressing a contra-viewpoint oftentimes relieves the pressure of daily work drudgery. Being heard, I think it’s called. Smart managers also listen.