Entrapment - Apathy, a disease

Apathy. I would define it as the "lack of interest in or concern for things or willingness to take up challenges that others find moving or exciting".

I am sure that many of us, in one way or another, has experienced "apathy" in our work environment. Common catch phrases are "we have done this before, it doesn't work", "why try? Management has rejected this many times", "give up, its useless, they are not going to listen", "same old story again, why waste time?" "I told you it is too time consuming and it will fail!" "nothing new" ... Many are also not aware that if this culture is not arrested, it will breed and has life on its own. It will develop into a culture or behaviour norm within an organisation. Any new person coming into the organisation, without knowing, will also be absorbed into this negative climate.

Do understand that "apathy" can be leant as well without you knowing. This is called "learned apathy". The person sub-consciously store in his memory negative past experiences, or other people's negative experiences in the organisation. He will then apply or regurgitate in his present or future work challenges. He has "learnt" to resist new work procedures, processes and challenges. What he experienced or heard in the past now dictates how he is reacting. He is trapped! Pour soul!

If key leaders in an organisation manifest this in the work environment, it spells disaster! This negative behaviour must be quickly arrested if business is to continue to be sustainable and profitable.

How do we remedy it? First, it must be identified and recognised that "apathy" is a disease. The organisation must be restored to a healthy state of innovation, creativity, resilience and growth. Secondly, the leaders must accept that the disease exist. The organisation must be willing to embrace changes and work towards a renewed mind-set. Thirdly, the team must resolved to "let go" of their apathy in order to move forward.

The team must be willing to learn, unlearnt and relearn. The game plan for change must be taken immediately, if not yesterday!

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