Currently, I am experiencing the effects of complacency as my new manager implements new processes and procedures. This is difficult for my other team members to accept as they have been employed with the corporation for over 10 years. I, on the other hand, embrace the changes as they are more efficient and effective. If properly performed, productivity would increase significantly. While new management is attempting to streamlines processes, he lacks people management skills. He would benefit from adhering to Jack Welch’s six practices for people management. Particularly, the fourth practice which suggests charging relationships with different level employees. Specifically, eradicating the disrupters, the employees who refuse the new SOP. (Welch, 2005) The complacency is ongoing. It began when new management began to implement new procedures and processes. The senior employees have rejected the new standards which has decreased productivity. Process times have increased dramatically resulting in disgruntled and frustrated customers. Because I am currently experiencing the effects of complacency, I am not sure if the situation is being dealt with properly. For example, I have received added responsibilities in my position. As a result, I have cross trained with one of the disruptors to help speed up the process. The person in which I am referring is very similar to the disrupter described by Jack in Winning. This disruptor has seniority and expansive process knowledge which makes her valuable to onboarding management. As described by Kotter in Leading Change, increased urgency ultimately results in a decrease in complacency. Establishing urgency involves a confident leap into the unknown. It would be almost impossible to make such a bold leap without eradicating complacency, to some degree. (Kotter, 2012) For example, in my current situation, I believe my management should make a bold move and force the disrupter into retirement. The other alternative would be to take Jack’s advice and remove the “poison”. (Welch, 2005) In my opinion, focusing on customer satisfaction should have been the catalyst for change. When customers began complaining and demanding payment for services rendered, management should have began implementing Jack’s six practices for people management. Although I am experiencing my own frustrations because of complacent disrupters, I can only hope management is devising a plan.
Complacency is a problem that plagues every industry. Look at how many banks have been merged or collapsed in the last 20 years (see picture below) (DESJARDINS). Banks have consolidated heavily since 1990. 37 banks have merged to form just 4 banks. These 4 banks control 45% of customer deposits in the US (DESJARDINS). Complacency may not have been the primary reason from bank mergers, but banks rarely “fail” now. After the financial crisis in 2008, banks are absorbed by larger banks if they cannot meet the new regulatory requirements. The Military is not exempt from complacency. I will speak of my experience, but I know it is not an isolated occurrence. My unit has a manning capacity of approx. 120. 120 has been assigned based on the type of deployments we are expected to handle. One concern is the training. The “old guard” or members who have ben there for over 15 years still want the pre-9/11 Air Force. Training was lax and pencil whipped. Meaning everyone had the training accomplished and it did not matter if the training had taken place. There have been several individuals who started in the pencil whipping age and saw how this only hurt our unit. They had the sense of urgency to change the status of the training (Kotter). With the transition from paper training records to digital training records, they saw their chance. They were in some minor management roles and took advantage of their responsibilities. They read the Manuals, adjusted training and used real world experience from deployments to bring the knowledge standard up. The deployment cycle was frequent from 2001-2015. I have been in the unit 9 years and I think there has only been a few months where the unit did not have at least one person deployed. As time went on, the “old guard” retired or accepted the new way of training. They began to see with the deployment frequency, the old way was not going to cut it. The “old guard” was fine with the way they were trained. They were complacent in their ways and several rejected computers. As “new blood” entered the unit, they only knew the new method of training. As the “new blood” moved up in rank and responsibility, they further enhanced the training with their experience and embraced, or at least tolerated the computer based training from the Air Force. The Unit has improved, and the minimum standard has been raised significantly in the last 9 years that I have been a member of the unit. The change in training was needed to be a top Aerial Port (recently placed 2nd in a job skills competition out of 25 teams) and to be selected for many transition deployments. Transition deployments are when a Reserve Unit takes over responsibility from an Active Duty deployment location. We have been asked to be logistic liaisons to other branches as well as fill many roles not typically offered to Reserve units. The sense of urgency was present in the younger Airman of the “Old Guard” and have transitioned the unit into one that is called upon to work the difficult missions