YOUR GROUP HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS AS ACME INC.

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


This section applies to all groups, not just corporations. It applies to couples, families, social groups, service groups, therapy groups, as well as corporations.


Consider a mythical company, Acme Inc., with its better mousetrap designed by Acme's founder, Ms. Acme, several years ago. At first there were five employees, all trying their best in somewhat flexible roles to make a go of the new venture. Over time these roles tended to harden into concrete, thus solidifying the hierarchy. After a few years, all became aware of the possibility of selling two different types of mousetraps rather than one. Mabel, who handled orders by hand, did not like that idea because it would have created extra work for her. If the group is still new enough so that roles are not strongly fixed, then Ms. Acme or Mr. MBA may accurately see the need for computers and be able to take appropriate action. If roles have become fixed, however, there will be a strong tendency to "support" Mabel and make the decision that "it is no doubt better to stick with one mousetrap- after all it is a winner." This is Going-Along-Disease, discussed later in this chapter. It is not just Mabel, for members of all groups have the tendency to define their own procedures and responsibilities as the Gospel According to Our Group. Because of changes over time, however, the old policies and procedures are no longer as effective or competitive as they once were.


He whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed... Confucius 500 B.C.

Because of this Gospel, any other groups or individuals who disagree with the Gospel are judged as wrong or bad, divisive, evil, etc. Even if our group Gospel is badly out of date, it will be protected and its detractors will be blamed (Stage II). This I call Blaming-Others-Disease, to be discussed in more detail later. Mr. Sales, who learned his sales techniques on used-car-lots, makes his rounds of stores and has not significantly changed his pitch over the years. He doesn't realize that the hard-driving techniques that initially won him their accounts are becoming detrimental to his success at maintaining sales. He continues them because they have become his Gospel. Mr. Sales blames the customer for not buying, and for being the cause of his poor sales record.


The opinion of other group members becomes Public Opinion and part of the group Gospel that is rigidly held in great reverence. Because most of us prefer stability and routine, we tend to go along with "the way we did it last time," and this is rewarded with favorable Public Opinion. Mabel will often get her wish to "do it the way we did it last time."


Major structural changes, such as changing from a manufacturing company to a more service-oriented organization will often prove to be impossible. Such a direction, however necessary, will be resisted not only out of staff stuckness. It may be resisted too because that group of people at Acme Inc. may be incompetent to make such a change happen. In truth, almost all groups are set up to be resistant to major change.


A group will have strengths and weaknesses depending upon those making up the group. Particularly if the group becomes closed to outside information, group flaws over time will be neglected, denied, glossed over, repressed and "supported" by the phrase, "It worked OK for us that way last time." Without change in this rapidly changing world, our groups (yes, Acme Inc. and all our groups) become about as relevant as the National Association of Buggywhip Manufacturers.

Next Excerpt  

Most of us are often stuck in "conditional" love, which usually does not last and is rather manipulative.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   OUR FAVORITE GROUPS: THIS AUTHOR WANTS YOU!
   CELEBRATION TIME
   MUST LACK OF UNDERSTANDING FEEL BAD?
   HARD TRUTHS @ UNDERSTANDING AND BEING UNDERSTOOD
   YOUR GROUP HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS AS ACME INC.
   GOING-ALONG DISEASE
   BLAMING OTHERS DISEASE
   EFFECTIVE ACTIVISM TODAY
   THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY


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Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care

YOUR GROUP HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS AS ACME INC. © 1995-2004