My posting from a nuclear power discusion group on Linked In:
Kate brought up another critical point – “boss stress.” That’s actually one of the biggest variables in any human system. Edwin Friedman pointed out 5 behavioral characteristics of systems where the leaders are a source of unnecessary stress (they are ramping up the stress in the system, instead of calmly and consistantly dampening it):
Reactivity – People go into fight and flight reactions such as keeping their mouth shut/avoiding the boss (read my book, Fight, Flight, Freeze!)
Herding – People over-identify with their own groups (us vs them) and are more concerned about their rights than their responsibilities
Displaced Blame – People point in every other direction rather than calmly looking at thier own role in what has gone wrong/what could make it better
Quick Fix Mentality – Speaks for itself, although one manifestation is trying to implement too many solutions at the same time
Absence of Non-Anxious Leadership – This is the root cause of all of the above and it replicates itself in a dysfunctional system
For more detail on what to do about these systemic dynamics, read the white paper I have posted on my Linked In profile.