The Great Mexican Standoff
I’ve seen dozens of organisations from the inside over the past decade. And hundreds over my career.
In almost all of them I’ve noted The Great Mexican Standoff standing tall astride any path to “progress”.
The organisation (more specifically, the management) steadfastly refuses to adjust to the requisites of collaborative knowledge work.
The workers, noting their bosses’ obduracy (and some regarding it as idiocy) pretty soon withdraw all discretionary effort and, effectively, work to rule.
(A Mexican standoff is a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory.)
An “us vs them” standoff where the status quo rules, quality remains poor, costs remain high, customer satisfaction remains low, engagement remains minimal, and managers’ frustrations remain maximal.