As I watched the Obama administration spokespeople on the Sunday morning talk shows, I couldn't help but wonder why they believed the Sergeant Schultz reply of "I know nothing" would absolve the president and his department managers of their culpability in the Internal Revenue Service scandal. If anything, that answer only makes matters worse.
The essence of management is to prevent things from happening, that you don't want to happen. For the president, or his appointed managers, to now say they need to ensure that these things don't happen again, begs the question. Common sense management would have put in place procedures to prevent these failures in the first place.
Workers want to please their bosses. That's human nature. By pleasing the boss, they can retain their job, perhaps get a raise in salary, or maybe receive a promotion or some other recognition or reward. Don't please the boss, and suffer the consequences of failure. Keep that in mind when you think of the administration's public reaction to the Supreme Court's decision, labeled Citizens United. That ruling struck down restrictions in the commonly called McCain-Feingold act which prevented corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from making independent expenditures to political campaigns.
The Obama administration railed against this ruling, essentially claiming that it would allow businesses to unfairly fund Republicans running for elected office. However, if one looks at the amounts of money each candidate collected, such was not the case. On a head to head basis, the Federal Election Commission, the New York Times, and the Washington Post all show that President Obama raised over $250 million more than did Governor Romney. Overall, Republicans and Democrats raised about $1.2 billion each. Because of their extended primary period, and multiple candidates seeking the nomination, much of the Republican contributions were siphoned off into the primary period.
In spite of the fact that there was not a significant difference in overall contributions, the Obama claims of an unfair advantage to the Republicans, because of the Citizens United ruling, in all probability stimulated followers in the Internal Revenue Service to do what they could to stifle organizations that were likely to be opposed to Obama.
Anyone with some modicum of management experience would have taken steps to ensure that political preferences would not override the essence of the Supreme Court's ruling. For managers within the IRS, the Treasury Department, the president, and his staff, to feign outrage over not knowing of the outrageous conditions that were imposed by the IRS on the "right leaning", Not for profit corporations, is absurd.
Can you imagine a corporate CEO telling his/her shareholder's that he/she didn't know his people were breaking the law and no one in the entire chain of command knew anything about it? If that were the case, a rapid change of management would take place.
The organization is a reflection of the boss, of the boss, of the boss. Workers do their best to satisfy the boss and they look for the recognition they earned in doing so. For people to pretend that the workers stifled the "right leaning" Not for profits, and did not make their bosses aware of those achievements, defies credulity.
To accept the unacceptable will stimulate its growth.