Finding Nemo: The damage one fish can do to your organization

You wouldn’t think it had to be said but, when you use the phrases “organizational change” or “employee engagement” or “performance improvement”, it should mean that you expect change for the entire organization, to engage every employee and to expect improvement in all performance. While it may be idealistic to think that your effectiveness initiatives will completely transform every nook and cranny, it is not unreasonable to go into those initiatives with that intent.

The One That Got Away
Without the intention – and the courage – and the business accountability – of extending your improvement expectations to all aspects of your organization, you expose yourself and your business to risk: the risk of undoing all the good stuff you spent time, energy and money on. Why? Because of the one that got away.

Nemo is Your Nemesis
In the movie “Finding Nemo”, there is a scene where a school of fish – including Nemo – are netted by a fishing boat. Not knowing where they are being taken but fearing certain death, the fish are quickly inspired into action by Nemo who implores them to “Swim Down!”. If you haven’t seen the movie, you can imagine an enormous net of fish all swimming toward the ocean floor thereby straining the boat’s motor and winch and essentially stopping the boat’s progress until the winch breaks and the fish break free.

Nemo in Your Company
The Nemo in your company is the one person, project, micro-culture, etc. that you let “get away” with not having to comply with or adjust to the new change/engagement/performance expectations. Whether actively, passively or simply by example, this outlier “fish” causes drag on your business, your culture and your employees. For what to do about fish, check out my earlier post. Hmm…I seem to be talking about fish a lot these days. Wonder what’s up with that.

Anyway, what examples do YOU have of organizational Nemos?

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