Thursday 3 December 2015

Muddy the water and catch the fish-a leadership tool

Muddy the water and catch the fish

CEO Stan and I had a one on one at 8 am but not in the sexual sense.  Stan wanted to share with me his observations about the performance of the algorithm group under Comrade Carl Marks’ leadership.

“Gloria, no one in that group knows what the scope of their role is. The system architect, the business analyst and the coders keep stepping on each other’s’ toes. What kind of HR manager are you? I expect HR to keep the organization streamlined and up to speed. God knows I pay you enough”.

It was the first time I heard Stan refer to God, from an HR perspective.

Subsequently, I had lunch with Chief Nerd Comrade Carl Marks. The Comrade was jovial and jocund, which is a word many people don’t know. In Canada our English teachers were Brits so they taught us Chaucer and words like jocund.

I explained Stan’s concerns to the Comrade.

Carl, never one to be told what to do, taught me a new Russian swear word, poshel na hui, and then launched into a diatribe against Stan, without using the term big data too often.

“Gloria, do you how Stalin controlled Russia? Not via big data! He slaughtered millions and he purged both the party and army. No one has ever surpassed Stalin's ability to control.
And Gloria, have you ever heard of Adolph Hitler? He led Germany by polycratic chaoseven though he was German. As a matter of fact, old Hitler was the only one to integrate between 
three parallel command structures, which were always at each other's throats! 
Does Stan know that Gloria? 
And do you know the Chinese saying, "Muddy the water and catch the fish"? 
Gloria, there is a system in my madness, and as HR manager, you need to get the culture right. None of my nerds speak English. They are not mature enough for democracy or order!”

Carl poured himself a glass of brandy and continued.

“Kibinimat Gloria, does Stan want me to act like a Scandinavian, or like a posh Brit or an naive American? Does he want our team to become Iraq or Syria?”

I was in a quandary, which is a word like jocund.

I must tell my readers that history has never been my forte, which is a French word. And my present suitor (who is a big data nerd) bores the daylights of me by discussing civilizational decline in the Middle East and Africa.

So I decided to solve the problem by telling Stan that Carl “got the feedback and expressed concern”. Very posh!


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