“Can you get rid of the bloody union?” asked me a senior executive of the Australian branch of a major international food processing company once.
Let me give you some background to this conversation: I was making a pitch of my Strategic Consulting service to this executive, explaining that whatever problems they had as a company could be addressed by carefully thought-out strategic and tactical planning.
“What’s your biggest pain at the moment?” I asked. That’s when the sarcastic “can you get rid of the bloody union?” came at me.
No, Sir – I said – I cannot. You see, you’re having union problems because your employees see you as the enemy. Not just you but the entire management team. There’s an “us against them” atmosphere and your employees feel that they need to be protected from you, so they involve the union.
And that’s totally the fault of your management team, because you are the leaders and you are supposed to take care of your people and make them feel safe. If you want the union gone, you have some significant cultural changes to make. And you better start with your management team – the rest will take care of itself.
So no, Sir, I can’t get rid of the union for you, but you can. I, however, will be happy to help you do that in the quickest and most efficient way, by facilitating meticulous strategic and tactical planning. Because that’s what I do.