Who killed JFK, did the Americans really land on the Moon, what is the government covering up about Area 13, and what aren’t the board telling us?
As with all conspiracy theories the idea that there is a secret plan is actually comforting, it‘s more reassuring to think our leaders are intelligent and competent , even if devious, than to accept we inhabit a world of randomness and chaos that is under no one’s control.
Reorganisations, mergers and outsourcing happen more frequently in a harsh financial climate. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that such major changes are distracting, time consuming and rarely deliver the promised increased efficiency or competitiveness. No doubt there are staff who remember the last big upheaval, it was not that long ago. So if reorganisations, mergers and outsourcing over promise and under deliver why do organisations insist on yet another one. The conspiracy theorists will tell us it benefits certain powerful individuals who have their own agenda. Individuals who are a member of a secret organisation like the Freemasons. Sounds silly when you say it like that but a very sensible if rather cynical senior manager told men that the surprise appointment of a woman as the new chief executive was because the board wanted to be sure they didn’t appoint a Freemason.
In the age of social media, conspiracy theories flourish. As someone who has been directly involved in the negotiations to deliver reorganisations, mergers and outsourcing I repeatedly experienced suspicion and mistrust from the staff about the reasons for these major changes. The staff side were convinced management had a plan that they refused to revel. This secret plan was different to the plan that was being shared with staff. A copy of the real plan was accidentally left on the photo copier/ emailed to an employee with the same surname and initials as a board member/ seen by a temp who was covering for the directors PA. Perhaps the origin of these suspicions was the fear of job loses, pay cuts, and new less favourable terms and conditions of employment.
The more the staff side learnt about the proposals the more they were convinced that management couldn’t possibly believe that this would led to a better service, they just refused to believe management couldn’t see the problems they were creating, so there had to be another reason, one that management don’t want share. The alternative was that management’s get it done and dam the consequences was simply incompetence and people would rather believe there was a devious plan than no plan.
Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk