It’s becoming shockingly fashionable at the present time for individuals to occupy the top leadership role of organizations and yet eschew full oversight of employees and their resulting behavior. The NFL is the latest case-in-point, when players who had earlier been censored for the slightest uniform infractions were somehow freed to contravene the organization’s rules on the matter of appropriate behavior during performance of the country’s national anthem.
In texts that I have written on the subject of organizational change management as well as in numerous public addresses and published articles, I have consistently cautioned managers about the need to be consistent and thorough in their approaches to organizational change and the ensuing chaotic circumstances that generally surround change. The NFL leadership is now in the throes of chaos that could well have been avoided simply by applying, in an overt, straightforward and unbiased manner, the organization’s rules as written – just as had been done with every other infraction of the rules by their players. Making exceptions and special circumstances when there is no legitimate basis leaves management without a “leg to stand on,” shall be say.
Change will be a constant in the daily management of organizations; managers need to be constant in their addressing that change. This is a lesson that can be learned daily, but with a little effort and consistency the lesson-learning can be left to the less-sophisticated and accomplished managers.