To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus groups, or involvement meetings to communicate that “your opinion matters,” but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they’re doing the “right” thing—involving their people in the decision-making process.
The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports superﬁ cially, solicit-ing their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their own view. Cynicism becomes employees’ ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management.
Perhaps even worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contributing to a major project, they have great difﬁ culty securing this involvement.
Example: Dan has responded to his new boss’s belief in “participatory decision making” by holding weekly meetings with his staff, during which he encourages discussion of the issues facing their group and requests their ideas. A secretary records everyone’s ideas and creates a report, which Dan says he will incorporate into his decision making. After making a decision, Dan always thanks certain members of his team for
their contributions and emphasizes that the course of action chosen was inﬂ uenced a great deal by their participation. He also sends an e-mail to his boss extolling the contributions of these individuals.
In reality, Dan always does exactly what he wants to do. He may even sincerely believe that he has actually listened to the ideas of others and integrated them into his decision, but it’s clear that he has certain biases and that he always follows these biases when opting for certain tactics and strategies, regardless of the information and concepts others bring to him.Click here to check all the "games of the month"