Impacts of ‘Leadership’

The current inquiry into the Queensland Forensic Laboratory provides a lesson for all of us who lead teams or organisations.

The research and literature regarding the impacts of leadership and culture upon the performance of a team and therefore organisation, is endless.  It is available to us all.  Yet, we still have many, many examples, like the Queensland Forensic Lab, of leadership taking an organisation down a very destructive path.

From what I have read we have a situation at the Queensland Forensic Lab, where the managers wanted to change how forensic testing was done.  There was a view it was cutting the workload yet it appears that cutting of the workload also cut the quality of the testing and therefore findings in results.  These cuts were made despite the protestations of those conducting the testing.  You can most likely say the experts.  But they were overruled by the managers.  They were ignored and excluded.

Imagine attending your work every day knowing that the work you were performing was not to standard, was not allowing you to do what you are trained to do, and you knew the impacts and consequences are far reaching.  It could be soul destroying.

The managers did not listen to their Team.  There is a sense of patriarchy here.  A ‘do as you are told’ type of mentality.  This is an archaic way to ‘lead’ a team.  In essence, it is not leading at all but controlling.

The consequences are, ironically, going to lead to a mammoth workload and who knows how many cases may be overturned, and how many offenders have been able to live their life despite committing a serious crime.

The Queensland Forensic Laboratory is a unique example.  Yet issues like these can be bubbling away in many teams and organisations.

Do you tell your Teams exactly how they should perform their task?  Do you provide them with systems which help them to do their job easily?  Do you allow your Team to offer ideas or suggestions which may streamline a process providing a quality outcome?  Do you listen?  Or do you ignore them?

What consequence is that having now?  What may it create in the future?

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