As a management consultant I have been inside numerous organizations helping them work on improvement agendas. Being on the inside is a revealing process and the consistent constraint for any improvement has always been management. When change is required for those in authority to change things they are indeed the ones who resist change.
Now with the transparency of communications and the ongoing economic pressures the role of management will need to change.
Change To What?
Organizational models are changing. From flexible work hours to virtual offices today’s modern organization is learning what is valuable and meaningful to people. Every business relies on people to effectively execute on processes that tie together production, marketing, sales and customer fulfillment. The customer relies on an organizations people to deliver what is or greater than what is expected. Two things tie everything together, communications and relations.
Social technology is accelerating communications and revealing the value of meaningful relations. These new discoveries are transforming the role of management from the old command and control to the new “create value or get out of the way” framework. Creating value is now the primary role of management and is different then supervision and control.
Scott Adams, from Dilbert.com writes: The Bad Management Stimulus: The Dilbert Principle observes that in the modern economy, the least capable people are promoted to management because companies need their smartest people to do the useful work. It’s hard to design software, but relatively easy to run staff meetings. This creates a situation where you have more geniuses reporting to morons than at any time in history. In that sort of environment you’d expect the geniuses to be looking for a way out, even if Plan B has a low chance of success.
Is It Now “Creation Management”?
Creation management is more about increasing value for people than it is about managing people. People are becoming self managed given all the productivity tools, the always communicating behavior and the emphasis on relations. Managements new role is constantly creating valuable tools, relations and knowledge that people can use to better serve each other and the end buyer.
The days of holding back needed changes, exercising power for powers sake and managing for self preservation are quickly coming to an end. Today’s markets are becoming more open, more transparent and subsequently unless an organization can continually create value for its people then the people cannot meet the markets demands.
The irony of Scott Adams statement of “the least capable people are promoted to management because companies need their smartest people to do the useful work” is that most smart employees have known this for years.
The more layers an organization has the more complexity and delay in communications. Today’s “socialution” is more about flat organizations whose management is focused on creating meaningful value for people, inside and outside of the organization. While the words seem logical and meaningful the behavior is difficult for management who only understand command, control and resistance to change that changes them.