One of the key issues facing any business is the issue of competitive advantage and one of the biggest challenges is ensuring that the calibre of the management team is capable of conceptually exploring new approaches and new ways of working. This requires a high degree of personal self-awareness and reflective capability.
When this is lacking in an organisation the incumbents are invariably imbued with a sense of over confidence and an arrogance towards opportunity for change that manifests itself in a Luddite-esque transactional attitude to people and organisations that can make a difference.
Particularly susceptible are so called 'creative' types who have themselves 'taped' as imaginative when all they are doing is re-engineering the existing formulae within the impoverished limitations of their stunted managerial capability. These 'high priests and priestesses' of retail head office management perform the same rituals to a dogma that might have worked for them in the past are doing their businesses no service (sic) at all. The notion of co-creation is lost on people who believe good management is 'taking' rather than creating.
These managers are organisationally politically vulnerable and they know it deep down, they are the abusers of position and power and they hold back initiative, imagination and conceptual inventiveness. These types of manager actively suppress alternative lines of discussion and surround themselves with nodding acolytes who are either too scared to speak up or lack the moral fibre to question the person in charge. They use aggressive un-cooperative tactics by mistakenly claiming 'that's how to do business' around here. This is short-termism and it has its obvious consequences. Complacency and arrogance always leads to trouble. This is the behaviour of the Gullible. It is also the behaviour of individuals that have to prune imagination back until it is within the manageable limits of their ability to control and understand.
I predict worse times to come for 1 major UK retailer in particular that is falling way behind Tesco in terms of competitive thinking capability. A serious and deep audit of managerial ability is needed for this to be averted. I suggest the first port of call is The Lack of Talent and Imagination Department.
Who do you think this is?