AIRASIA X, Middle Management – can be the worst culprit in any transformation

I attended a hitea talk by the CEO of AIRASIA X hosted by the Malaysian Gas Association.. He is certainly a good pitcher. There are tens of management concepts that he utilizes and I personally find him to be a smart and energetic young man. AIR ASIA concept consume a lot of energy. The energy of the CEO. The future of AIR ASIA I commented will depend on the energy of Tony and Azahan.

We are in the same business I quipped, the ENERGY business.

One point he made, that the middle management can be the worst culprit in any organizational transformation. I fully agree.

It is more difficult to do a legacy transformation.  It could be equally daunting for a new start up if if the management inherits many legacies from their previous life.

In legacy organizations, there are little penghulus who act like some big time taikor. There are heads whose heads are bigger then the doors they go through to get to the position given to them. There are small time juragan or coxswain  who think themselves as a big time ship captain shouting I call the shot, refusing to listen to the real captain. There are also politicians whose interest is to remain popular as if his next raise is decided by the ballot box.

They will say that the Boss is hard headed and a despot whereas they are the ones  who refuse to temper their understanding  and failure to answer the why, why, why? It could also be due to  failures to articulate and present an argument to back their thoughts.

Ego? I have written on that subject previously.

The fact of the matter is that there are many visionary leaders who are made to fail by their trusted middle management. Leaders will have to recognize this and engage the organization.

It is enriching to find a successful organization being led by a a young lad who is willing to try new things and liberate himself from the conventional ways. It is also encouraging to share the same experience and challenges.


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