Stupid Refs and Change Management

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Jay Goldstein studies “those” parents at kids’ sporting events that fit the acronym Tempestuous, Harried, Overwrought, Self-absorbed and Emotional. A parent who had been part of his study told him that he had once been one of “those” parents. But one day the referee didn’t show, and he was asked to take over. Suddenly, he was the victim of abuse from “those” parents. He said, “From that day on, I sit up by my car and read the paper, and glance up every now and then, and watch the game. I am there for my child. Nothing more. Nothing less.” (The Washington Post. A2, 7/14/08)

That item reminded me of the power of getting people involved in making the tough decisions of running an organization. When that happens, people often see things differently. Getting people engaged in planning meetings is great, of course, but it doesn’t compare to putting people in roles where they are now “the stupid referee.” Just a thought.