World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 93

additional content meetings in which he brought these covert assumptions to the surface. In effect, he shone a light on the invisible rumination of the firm’s culture, relabeling this culture as collective mental habits that people happened to hold at this company, not as aspects of reality. And once he had relabeled them that way, people could reframe their situation, choosing a set of more optimistic mental constructs that would move them further along: However bad this situation is, we can fix it if we don’t fight. This new approach made all the difference. Bailey had tapped into the way people can build and manage their own cognitive habits. The division he oversaw was back to breakeven after nine months and profitable within a year. It was sold as a going concern in the 18th month. This preserved shareholder wealth, and most of the related jobs. Transpacific Industries has had its ups and downs since then, but it continues to operate profitably [pdf] under the name of its former acquisition, Cleanaway; the company won the Turnaround of the Year award in 2016 from the Australasian branch of the Turnaround Management Association (a global group of professionals in Bailey’s field). The Nature of Deceptive Messages Many companies have the same cultural issue: a constant flow of inaccurate but persuasive messages that take the enterprise in dispiriting, self-defeating directions. Indeed, when business leaders complain about their culture, they’re usually complaining about these corporate cognitive distortions. It’s as if people throughout the company are deceiving themselves and their colleagues about the business and its potential. When company leaders complain about their culture, they usually complain about corporate cognitive distortions. When company leaders complain about their culture, they usually complain about corporate cognitive distortions. It’s as if everyone in the company is deceiving themselves and their colleagues. It’s as if everyone in the company is deceiving themselves and their colleagues. These deceptive organizational messages are unexamined, taken for granted, and strengthened through everyday conversation. When a leader says about a proposed idea, “We tried that in the past and it didn’t work,” an implicit consensus often follows: Nothing like that will ever work. People treat this message as an unquestionable axiom, assume that others believe it, repeat it up and down the enterprise, and avoid any action that would contradict it. There’s generally a pattern of deceptive messages when organizations cover up sexual harassment: That’s not the kind of company we are. Therefore, this must be an isolated case. Or, There must be something wrong with the accuser. Deceptive organizational messages are larger-scale analogs to the deceptive brain messages that most people have experienced as individuals. These are the thousands of thoughts, impulses, urges, and desires embedded in habitual brain activity. They too are often false or inaccurate, and they tend to distract or dissuade people from important goals and intentions, but they seem so natural that they are regarded as real and irresistible. When you experience a recurring rumination of this sort — I always screw up, or, Nobody appreciates me; or, conversely, I’m so special I can get away with anything, or, Everyone else sees things the same way I do — you are experiencing a signal generated by nothing more perceptive than the habitual churn of your brain circuits. The phenomenon of neuroplasticity — the fact that recurring mental activity tends to strengthen the brain circuits related to it — gives these deceptive messages their power. Habitual thoughts and feelings become stronger, and easier \X] ݙ\[YK^B[YXH^H[H^H][[ۂHܛ XZ[[H[ܙHZ[H›XHH][[[Y[H]Z[ܘHHYˈY\X]Y[Y Y\Y\ZH\HXYHBۜ\[^HوXZ[[HوBܛ HH[YHHXYHY[[و\X\\\\ۈX\]BZ[Y\Y\Y]] BXۚ^H]H]\\]YB\YܝۙHX\[XY]B][ˈ]][\\[B\Y\H \[ܙ[]\]BX\[Y\ܛ\Y HXوYۛܚ[܈\\[™X\]HZ[Y\Y\\[[BY\][و\܈[]YX[˂܈YK\XY؛[X]X˜ۙ][ۜX\؜\]KX\[]B\ܙ\[YHܛ\وYX[ۂ[\\[ۋ[[\[Y\]XY[^[Z[Y [\\]YX˜Z][܈ܛ[Y[\[\[ۜ[[YY]ۙH\X[\HZ\]]؛H[Y[H\\ \ܝYHUTАRŽ