Matts Rehnstrom – Shaper of Business Excellence
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Do You Have Zjlobas in Your Organization?

We’re about to prepare for the yearly celebration of spring and the end of our winter. And we do that by making bon fires all around Sweden. So that’s what we’re preparing here and that reminds me of actually a tragic and that was the tragic of the fire in Kemerova in Russia. You might have read about it. I read an article about the background for the fire, or actually why it became such a disaster as it was. And the thing that the article mentioned was a term “Zjloba” and that word I heard when I was a little kid, my dad used that in the northern part of Sweden. He had nothing to do with Russia at all, but he mentioned the name anyway. I had to look it up. I instantly knew what it meant when my father said it, but now when I found it in the text, I had to find out what it means.

So I looked it up and it in English it should be then an “assertive and obnoxious bum”. That’s something that is not a positive term at all. And those zjloba’s where are the ones that actually caused the disaster out of this fire. There’s three things that characterize a zjloba and the first one is that you always follow order, never questioned a order, just following it. Someone has thought before you and you do as they say. The second thing is that you never, never ever take initiative. You do exactly as the order stipulate and you never take an initiative. The third part of a zjloba is that you never ever, as well, never think for yourself. Because if you start thinking, things could go really bad because you can come up with things that will collide with the thoughts behind the order. And zjloba exists, according to this article, a lot in Russia that has to do of course with the heritage from the Soviet Union where you just follow the orders that was given because it was dangerous to take your own initiative and think for yourself.

The thing is that this is not just the Russian thing, that we have these zjloba. You have them in your organization as well and the thing, if you’re working as a manager in your organization, then you need to get rid of this zjlobas. You need to nurture an environment where people actually can think for themselves, take initiatives and are gratituded by taking that initiative and thinking for themselves. Because otherwise it’s like putting a lid on a fire. You close it out and that was the meaning of course, by introducing the term zjloba or making the zjlobas. But if you’re working as a Business Analyst and you have a project, it is also vital that you removed the zljobas from your improvement project, because you will never be able to improve in that reach that you want to because the zljobas will hold down.  They will not … they don’t want to improve. They want status quo, because status quote is what they … because then they can just follow the orders. They don’t need to take these initiatives and certainly they don’t need to think for themselves.

So therefore it’s vital that you get rid of the zjlobas, out of your business and improvement projects. So if you’re a manager, look into if you can get rid of them within the organization, if you’re a business analyst, look how you can get rid of them from your improvement project. And manager and business analyst work together to improve the business, because you need to build that environment where zjlobas don’t really need to exist and they can’t exist because it’s expected that you take your initiatives, that you think for yourself. So, please click a like and a comment do you have zjlobas in your organization and what do you do about them? If you find this interesting, you can go to That is There you will find more free material like this one. And then until next time: To you and your Business Excellence.

About the Author Matts Rehnstrom

Matts helps Business Analysts, especially those who work in government administration, to design efficient and high quality business processes for their clients so they are able to deliver value in a sustainable and transparent manner.With over 20 years of advanced business process design in both IT and government, he can show you a simple ‘Business Excellence’ formula which dramatically reduces the time required to design a process as well as ensures it is created in a way which is optimized for the people who actually do the work.The health of the business and the people working in it is always at the forefront of how I help business analysts design their processes.➔➔If you are a business analyst who wants to ensure you deliver the best possible outcome for their clients (especially if your current project is not running perfectly according to plan!) then Matts can help you.