When unwritten rules run rampant

When the unwritten rules run rampant, it’s the worker’s fault, they say. ‘The culture around here is bad!’, they hear it every day. But where have the unwritten rules come from? Did they just creep in here, somewhere along the way?

Recruit, train and promote but only in one way. Structures put people in boxes and take their identity away. Cliques are formed with ‘buddies’ for safety and (un)fair play because when the unwritten rules run rampant, cunning games are played.

Micro-managing criticism, the soul is destroyed today. Autonomy to make decisions, I’m afraid that has gone away. Our gifts, our skills, our talents, can we show you them today? You are just a minor in this hierarchy, please put them away.

When the unwritten rules run rampant, it’s the worker’s fault they say. Belittling and undermining, doesn’t that pave the way for those unwritten rules to come out to play? Holding somebody back is the agenda for the day. Controlling every movement, across work lives and play. ‘Be my loyal follower’, there is no other way.

Bone-tired, weary managers, unsupported from above. Stuck in no man’s land where there is no humanity or love. Policies hinder their way forward yet still they get a shove, from the unforgiving, overbearing, hard hand from above.

Staff hold the weight of a dozen people, as complexity comes their way. The result of broken processes, at least one new one a day. They struggle under the crippling weight as corners are cut and protocols fade. Their values are smashed and battered, as profits get in the way. ‘That’s unfair!’, I hear you say.

When workers and managers are tired and can take no more today. Where do you think the unwritten rules come from, when they come out to play?

Part of the ‘spotting patterns’ element of the ‘Creating the Conditions for Change’ approach