What is the Frozen Middle, and Why Should it Keep Leaders Up at Night?

May 3rd, 2017

The Globe and Mail
Jennifer Reynolds
May 02, 2017 

frozenmiddle.jpgIn a world where the pace of change throws ever-increasing challenges at our businesses every day, companies need to be agile and nimble. The ability to shift strategies and business practices to reflect new technologies, regulations, and market dynamics provides a critical competitive advantage.

Is your workforce up to the challenge?

Does your corporate culture allow new, innovative ideas to rise to the top?

Does it value diversity of thought?

Research shows that one of the biggest challenges to innovation and change can be what is often referred to as the "frozen middle", those middle managers who are the gateway between junior to mid-level employees and leaders in the corporation.

The frozen middle is the most conservative layer in the organization. It is the most resistant to new ways of doing business, and to innovative ideas and perspectives. "Middle-status conformity effect" leads individuals to choose the safety of the tried-and-true over inventiveness and ingenuity. Middle managers have worked hard to gain some respect and value in their standing, and they do not want to jeopardize that status. They prove their worth by conforming to the corporate culture and the norms of established business practices.

To read the full article, click here