I’ve seen this happen while working at traditional banks (reported to be some of the most toxic places to work):
Managers, sent abroad to take supposedly life-changing management courses at highly rated institutions, return with the glamour of foreign certification and a slew of sparkling Instagram posts, maybe a few buzzwords to throw around the office hallways, and nothing more.
No conviction to create positive change, zero impact made. Just noise, appearances, and an updated LinkedIn profile – all signifying bullshit.
I suspect, no, believe very strongly that it could be one of these things:
1. They don’t care enough to create change.
Being intentional requires caring, and positive change cannot happen if one isn’t intentional.
So when people cannot be bothered to care (about anything other than themselves), that attitude shows up in their inability to move the needle of culture at their organisation, influence behaviour for good, or even succeed in ways that genuinely matter.
2. They’re clueless as to how to create change.
It’s one thing to acquire knowledge and another thing to know how to apply it for impact.
The theories learnt in a management class and the practical coursework that follows mean nothing if they cannot be brought into the real world where they’re needed.
3. They’re just plain unintelligent.
There’s not much to be said about this without maligning anyone based on their natural smartness or lack thereof.
(Maybe organisations just need to be more particular about hiring smart people, or making sure that the smart people they hire don’t lose their sharp edge over time.)
4. The management courses aren’t all that they’re hyped up to be.
It’s possible, with good PR and some remarkable staging, to pass off some kinds of artificial plants as the real deal.
(After weeks of not watering them, you will realise that they’re not dying because they were never alive to begin with.)
Similarly, highly rated institutions could very well be passing off management courses (that have no actual power to help anyone make a difference) as the panacea for an array of corporate diseases. And no one is fact-checking.
Institutions 1, corporates 0.