Why do corporate systems embrace mediocrity so vehemently?
This claim would be mostly denied, of course, but the evidence is too clear for it to be dismissed. Independent research (Gallup in particular) shows that approximately 20% of employees are engaged (committed and making a consistent contribution), while the balance either go through the motions for a paycheck or are liabilities to the system. This is naturally assessed on a sliding scale, but the same patterns exist everywhere to one extent or another.
So, why is this tolerated? Well, it’s really a case of resignation in my observation. It’s primarily peer driven, with the significant majority of people nestled comfortably in the centre of the exertion bell curve, while those at the extremities, either side of the ‘average’, are vulnerable to eventual expulsion through underperformance or aberrant behaviour (low achievers) or vulnerable to being undermined by the centre majority for showing them up through excessive discretionary effort (high achievers) – the ‘Tall-poppy syndrome’. Mediocrity is the default and institutionalised safe space. The resignation to this condition by leadership is largely due to the sheer inertia of it and the intangible, slippery and messy lifeform of this seemingly indestructible invisible beast within.
But it most definitely can be disrupted.
Let us show you how
Guy Martin is the founder & Managing Director of Blueprints: assisting CEOs to drive growth by increasing the alignment of their people to business goals by 50% within an 18 month period.