It really is hard to improve on perfection.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it." -Upton Sinclair
In the context of silo managers telling the people in their silo what to do, and how to do it, a manager understanding the idea of people managing themselves, and everyone managing their own work is an unlikely event.
However, when someone such as a trainer, consultant, coach or advisor succeeds in helping the silo manager just "get it down to his or her bones" what that new paradigm of management is, the victory may soon prove a hollow one, or very short-lived.
This is what it means for an organizational system to "revert to the norm." It's predictable, to the point of being nearly inevitable. We say that "transformation" is a permanent, irreversible new state that people or things take on. Then, we claim that transformation goes on around us all the time. But, don't be so sure. I've heard people say "transformation fades."
Werner Erhard is often credited as one of the earliest coaches in transformation. The following are his comments in a 1986 interview discussing the evolution of his own language use:
Many of the words he had used in his work, Erhard said, "eventually drifted into popular use."
They "lost the creative intention behind them and degenerated into a kind of jargon."
This was the fate of the term "transformation," a central term to which Erhard had assigned "an extremely precise meaning." Today, he said, "you hear it everywhere. You read about it in business journals. It's 'hot.' So, to some degree, it's lost its potency."
"I hardly use the word "transformation" at all any more...because while it once was a word that people had to think about, struggle to grasp, work on, that's just not true anymore. The word no longer wakes people up. Now, when you say "transformation," the word puts them to sleep - like they know what it means - they stop thinking, looking, inquiring." Speaking Being pg. 78
As an external coach, consultant, or trainer, if you leave the client's workers for just a few days or weeks, and come back to see how they're doing, do NOT be surprised if they reverted to their old habits, traditions and superstitions about work that pre-date your involvement with them. They were only complying with your requests, demands, or advice for whatever reason, while you monitored them.
Human beings do not re-arrange all of their underlying assumptions, core values, perceptions and judgements about their world just because you told them to. It takes something far beyond providing force or info to cause a permanent shift in someone's experience of themselves, and the world.
So, my contribution is just the 2 words, "or remember."
The enhanced version of this principle would read like this:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand [or remember] something when his salary depends on him not understanding it."
-Upton Sinclair [and Jon Jorgensen]