Thursday, August 30, 2007

Psychopaths, Bullies,

Andy Blumenthal has an interesting post Psychopaths and Enterprise Architecture, referencing the book Snakes in Suits by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.

In so many words, Andy raises the possibility that EA can/should play a role in reducing the impact of psychopaths on corporate decision making. Without a doubt, there is much more EA can do to improve the landscape.

It's an unfortunate fact that some of the same characteristics that make for great leadership and those manifested by psychopaths often present the same outward appearance. This is an important point worth pondering for a moment.

Sadly, the topic of workplace psychopaths is rarely discussed in Corporate America. The issue ranges from seemingly benign bullying to full psychopathic behavior. I'm not sure I have the answer except to say that education and awareness are an important first step.

Workplace bullying has a basic introduction, but the topic is deep and complex.

Here are couple links that might also be helpful.

And yes, I've seen the boogeyman.

1 comment:

Susan Tait said...

I'd submitted a brief study on the effects of workplace bullying at the project level to one of my clients. Since the boss was a good friend of the bully-in-chief, I used Patrick Lencioni's book on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team to make the concept a little less threatening. Result was some combined counseling by the boss to the bully and the bully's altar ego, with some small enticements to reward the behavior changes. Things were starting to change when I left.

I can say that if the bully in question had been a true psychopath, it wouldn't have worked. Frightened people who can manage their "Hallowe'en cat" instincts can become powerful forces for a better office life.