Here’s an interesting bit of timing: the two podcasts I listened to yesterday were Manager-Tools on open door policy, and Business Week’s The Welch Way where Jack and Suzy Welch answered a reader’s question about going to his CEO regarding an incompetent supervisor. Here’s a link to The Welch Way: www.businessweek.com/search/podcasting.htm. The specific question I’m referring to is the second in the show called “The Succession Opportunity.”
These seem to be related topics, and I get very different reads on them from the two sources. The Welches characterize a situation where somebody goes up to the top of an organization to air a complant as “an end run.” For example, they say: “If you take your case to the CEO, you’ll get action all right! And that sound you’ll hear is the collective groan of everyone who has ever watched in wonder as some naïve poor soul has tried to pull an end run.”
How does this relate to Manager-Tools? If I understand the recent pair of casts, it is conceivable that people will approach senior executives many levels above themselves because of their Open Door practices.
I encourage some feedback, comment and discussion about two different takes on a related issue. Please though, I don’t raise this as a “Mike and Mark versus Jack and Suzy” argument – I like to think that one aspect of a professional manager is the ability to reconcile diverse points of view without having to assign “right” and “wrong.”
What do YOU think? Does the Open Door encourage the End Run? And do you have a perspective on the effectiveness of this behavior that’s different from the outcome Jack and Suzy suggest in their advice?