What is the “Zombie Effect”?
What are some of the characteristics of your organization; does the word Zombie come to mind? What? Zombies? That may seem a little strong. Please remember, this is the season in the United States for pumpkins, witches, ghosts and yes Zombies, too! So let’s go with it…..
Zombies could be described in the following phrases;
They stagger about with no direction, no plans.
They huddle together in large groups.
They are unforgiving.
They have no self-awareness.
They have only one focus, food.
When alerted by sounds of other humans, zombies swarm to the same target.
Zombies do not talk, they do not think for themselves, they live day to day, week to week, year by year just searching for food. Humans will actually work around the Zombies, they try not to disturb them, concerned that they will swarm them with more opposition, preventing them from achieving their goals.
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have the Zombie Effect happening in your organization? Think about it. I suspect the answer is “yes”.
Our role as leaders is to recognize people have a tendency to move in the path of least resistance, they are suspicious of change so they enter group think, the Zombie Effect.
A diverse organization embraces people that act and think differently. New thoughts, ideas, and/or creative approaches to deliver products or services are needed to just stay in business in today’s ever changing environment. The Zombie Effect is not found in these organizations.
What can you, as a leader do to eliminate this? Here are some approaches:
Encourage wild and crazy ideas to increase creativity.
Recognize all employees for their contributions, not just the extroverts.
Delegate different responsibilities to individuals on the same team, eliminating the opportunity for group think. (Zombie Effect)
Be aware of your surroundings. Leaders take notice of how people are interacting and take immediate action before employees are bitten.
Have fun. Leaders can bring enjoyment into the workplace, allowing people to step out of their comfort zone in a light-hearted fashion. As it becomes second nature, just watch what happens to their creativity.
Embracing the “Walk of the Zombies” during the Halloween season is just some good old-fashioned fun.
Eliminating the Zombie Effect is essential to maintain continued growth of your organization!
Written By: Carey G MacConnell
Voyager Leadership Training LLC