When times are tough, it is human nature to batten down the hatches. However, when business is reduced to just a set of metrics and numbers without consideration to the human side of business, growth and productivity are unintentionally squelched. Several years ago some colleagues and I were making a sales pitch to the CEO of a large chemical manufacturing company set to make major large-scale change. We argued that there was a need to manage the human side of the change in order to get the desired return on investment. The CEO remarked that his employees would just have to "get over it." Fortunately, we were able to persuade the CEO and CFO that they could not afford to be distracted by employees who were not on board and aligned with the desired changes.
I have consulted to a number of companies struggling with merger integrations. Merger integration processes are ripe with opportunities for tangles. I have coined the term organizational tanglesSM to cover a broad spectrum of human dynamics challenges that block productivity and results. Based on my years of experience as a consultant to leaders, as well as my research, I have created a taxonomy of tangles. A tangle is characterized by strong egos, protected turf, and a propensity to blame others. A common hallmark of tangles is "us vs. them" thinking and behavior.