Orrie’s response to the question of incompetence reflects deep & rare learning. I can only add supporting comments.
I’ve found that transformation obstacles generally bubble up in the following sequence:
Technical – weak standards or adherence to standards for core activities
Organizational – team structure, org structure etc.
People – competence, motivation, mental models etc.
Systemic – governance obstacles, e.g. rewards & recognition structure, core beliefs & values, relationship between senior management & Board etc.
(Yes, they overlap somewhat)
The People category sometimes entails bozos (or as some people say, cement-heads).
Harsh terms perhaps, but a fact of life, and a potentially company-killing problem.
Here’s what I have learned. You have to cull the bozos.
Be fair, be humane, as Orrie says. Provide fair and generous severance packages, help them find other jobs and so on, in the spirit of decency.
But cull them. You’ll be stronger for it. In fact, team members will thank you and may ask, “What took you so long?”
Steve Jobs and Jim Collins have coined helpful mantras:
Jobs: ‘No bozos – ever.’
Collins: ‘Get the right people on the bus.’
PS I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Fireside Theatre’s classic comedy album, I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus. http://www.amazon.com/Think-Were-All-Bozos-This/dp/B002HMHS72)asca