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Current Management Theory, The Oz Principle

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Michelle Varnum BMGT 110 Mekhonoshin December 7, 2004 Current Management Theory: The Oz Principle We hear it everyday, in the media, in our personal lives, and in our work environment. "It wasn't my fault," or "If they would have done it this way..." - people placing the blame on others and not taking responsibility for their own actions if something goes awry. People are afraid to hold themselves accountable in fear of getting into trouble, being fired, looked down upon, or letting others down. They feel that if they place the blame on someone or something else, everything will be ok and they won't have to worry about the issue at hand anymore, when, in actuality, it prolongs solutions and brings others down in the process. Above the line vs. below the line The Oz Principle, written by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman, shows us how we can get results by holding ourselves accountable for our actions. "Accountability has become a core management value for thousands of organizations throughout the world" (Connors, Smith, and Hickman, inside cover). ...read more.


Finding no faults, they decided to go forward with full scale production. A year later, the first compressor failure occurred, and shortly after, thousands more. Engineers found the problem: the use of powdered metal instead of hardened steel or cast iron in the manufacture of the compressors. Ironically, GE had tried powdered metal parts in its air conditioners a decade earlier and had found the material unacceptable. The new compressor was dropped and GE reported a loss of $450 million... According to The Oz Principle, GE went through every stage of the victim cycle. They overlooked earlier problems and denied that the problems existed. GE employees began finger pointing - everyone from senior executives to manufacturers took part in the blame game. And then, they decided to "wait and see" if the problems would miraculously solve themselves, since, after all, GE was considered one of the top organizations on earth (Connors, Smith, and Hickman, 2004). The Oz Principle states that "when you get stuck in the victim cycle, you can't get unstuck until you first acknowledge that you're functioning below the line and paying a high price for it" (p. ...read more.


They helped keep Enron's debt off the balance sheet and marketed questionable WorldCom debt, according to The Oz Principle (p. 43). When Enron took a tumble, what was Citigroup to do? CEO Weill decided to step up to the plate, admitting his embarrassment and took responsibility for the mistakes made. Weill decided to make sure Citigroup acted more ethically and honestly. He decided to turn the company around for the positive. Success through accountability The Oz Principle's core concept is taking ownership through seeing it, doing it, and solving it, whatever "it" may be. As we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we are actually helping get results faster instead of delaying them. At the first sign that something has gone wrong, we must be able to acknowledge it and figure out what actions to take to resolve it, and then actually do it, instead of playing the blame game or falling into the victim cycle. Being accountable helps one perform better, experience improved results, and helps one earn the trust and respect of others. Connors, R., Smith, T., & Hickman, C. (2004). The Oz Principle. New York: The Penguin Group. ...read more.

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