Is Linda Stifling Your Practice?

When the business experts at the centre of Business and Personal Excellence first began helping managers and principals to take their organisations to the next level, we encountered an interesting occurrence in the business lives of our clients.

Working with cBPE allowed a new vision to emerge – albeit, the momentum for developing a truly expansive vision kept on stalling because it appeared hard to implement.  Many times in this process, the partners wondered how they would get the necessary changes “past Linda”. Linda turned out to be a staff member who was notoriously difficult about change, greeting any attempted improvements with the insistence that “we don’t do things that way”.

cBPE coaches working in other situations came to hear a lot about similar employees who made managers less willing to consider making changes needed. Coaches coined this ‘the Linda Effect’. Our experts came to realise that, with the Linda Effect, the damage is done without ‘Linda’ ever actually being involved. In fact, the question should not be is Linda stifling your business. Perhaps, what managers and principals really need to ask themselves is ‘Are You Helping Linda to Stifle Your Business?’

The Linda Effect limits the vision of our clients not only because of the actions of ‘Linda’ herself, but, more importantly, because of the emphasis managers and owners place on the practicality of getting changes past all the “Linda types” After all, when we are at the point of discussing potential improvements with our clients, ‘Linda’ has yet to be involved at all, but the concern a manager feels about how she will react creates a kind of glass ceiling on their thinking.

This limits their ability to set a vision with any real ambition. Rather than aiming as high as possible, managers and principals are influenced by the Linda Effect to set their sights much lower. ‘Linda’ is set in her ways and a manager’s knowledge of this stops them from considering new and improved ways of moving forward without ever getting to the point of trying them out.

This is ‘The Linda Effect’.

From their years of experience helping businesses, the coaches at cBPE know that the answer is not simply to get rid of ‘Linda’. When discussing this issue at events we often hear people say that they employ nothing but Lindas, in exasperation of all the problems they have faced. The truth is that removing any one staff member is unlikely to provide a solution. Nevertheless, using some of cBPE’s applied techniques, will alleviate the stifling impact of the Linda Effect. Many times this leads to a owners and mangers of business breaking through the glass ceiling created by a legacy of Lindas. Linda Effects need to be overcome for businesses to undergo ultimately an unlimited thinking and a wider vision.

Suffice it to say, those same dentist principal’s glass ceiling in this respect was shattered. cBPE’s long term work with that business coupled with the momentum of the new vision allowed that business to double in size in only two years. Somewhat better than 10%, then!