“I think I’ve got an idea for another study. I think we should talk about how we lie in the Army”

Lenny Wong, Research Professor at the US Army War College, discovered, while doing a study on why junior officers weren’t innovative enough, that the Army had put so many requirements on officers that it was physically impossible to get it all done.

However, everyone would still report that everything got done because that was what the system required.

Lenny and his research partner found that this systemic lying created a moral numbness and a slippery slope that could go from trivial tasks to very consequential ones.

In episode 25 of Leading Transformational Change Tobias Sturesson talks to Lenny about:

1. How our desire to believe ourselves to be good or have perfect values can lead to a culture of dishonesty.

2. How we can listen to our organizations to uncover unhealthy culture.

3. Why we need courageous humility in order to build healthy and honest organizations.

4. Why we should take patterns of unethical behavior seriously even if it might seem like insignificant things.

5. How our systems and structures can override our corporate values.

Read more about Lenny Wong and his research.