Sunday, 10 February 2013

Horrible Work Organizations: Organization Groom

He groomed the nation, a senior British police officer said of the posthumously disgraced Jimmy Saville, a now known notorious sexual predator.  How many Jimmy Savilles are there in our daily, organized lives?  These callous and calculating individuals see the opportunities that large bureaucratically managed organizations to further their own nefarious ends. Some are psychopaths - functional psychopaths - or sociopaths. They have no empathy for others.

I often think of an educational institution in a dark place in England as being typical of institutions which have at their hearts highly manipulative individuals, masquerading expertise to blind their executive colleagues to the functionality of their psychopathology.  A fairly new Chief Executive and his fairly new Director of Human Resources may well have had their heads invaded by the resident psychopath in chief long before they took up post. He has been secure in his role in the institution for decades and has manipulated most who have had anything to do with him. He is highly skilled as a manipulative shyster but when it comes to doing anything for the institution he is useless. Give him a task, he usually fails. But no one seems to notice or care. He knows that this will be the case so he is empowered to be even more manipulatively ineffectual. Yet as a fairly senior manager he has power, the power to influence decisions, power to persuade staff that what he suggests really is in their interests.  He will always claim to be acting in the interests of the institution whereas he is really creating a world in gullible colleagues' heads in which they come to believe the shit they are being fed by the Organization Groom. He and his wife, yes he married a colleague (he was also instrumental in appointing her to a head of department role prior to their marriage) without disclosing their relationship to his beloved HR Department, have cost the institution hundreds of thousands of pounds in long term sickness absence costs and staff turnover not to mention lost business opportunities. The true cost of his role to the institution doubtless runs to several millions, not to mention the horrific damage to the health of colleagues, former colleagues and those who were once close to him.

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