I read all the comments that you post. All of them.
One my this blog’s readers, Chris Bonny, responded to my post last month, Outlaw Chicken Little Thinking, with an astute observation:
“I attended a two-day PM class at the University of Chicago where several attendees called these very people Fire Starters: Adding value by creating a fire that perhaps only they know how to put out.
Interestingly, there seemed to be a consensus that these Fire Starters also quoted S. Covey every chance they got. I’m not sure what the correlation is, but the more I thought about it, the more these class attendees profiling Fire Starters seemed to be the Chicken Littles within our class because they were imprinting people with negative connotations of people who use Covey as a roadmap. Another cliche’ comes to mind and it involves a pot and a kettle.
Call them what you want, but putting an end to their culture-killer ways is key.”
Recommendation: Find a fire starter in your office today. Confront them for creating problems to create work. Purposely assign someone they work with to fix the problem, hopefully someone the fire starter cares about getting along with. Make the procedure as public as practical to inform your culture. The grand takeaway here is that people in your culture will do whatever you reward, so reward innovation that points to a better customer outcome — not office politics.