Tag Archives: management

Neurotic, Paranoiac… Styles of Management: Navigating the Deep-Dive of Management Theory and Business Reality…

Managing people is singularly the toughest gig around– it’s that liberated worker thing; its equal parts– challenging and rewarding, positive and negative– and often all at the same time… Some styles of management work, others don’t work, and still others are down-right horrendous– it all depends on the– manager, workers, culture… Different management styles work– for different managers, for different workers, in different organizations, in different cultures… There are managers who micro-manage, managers who manage by metrics, managers who manage by exception… and some management styles will work under one set of market conditions but not another… ‘it all depends’…

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However, whatever the style of management, it’s an implicit ‘agreement’ or ‘contract’ between management and workers with terms that say; ‘there are things management expect from workers’, and ‘there are things workers expect from management’… Then it’s up to both parties (management and workers) to keep their ends of the bargain… Hence, ‘best’ management style is one that ‘works’ for both management and workers, and when it stops working for either one of the parties, its becomes ‘bad’ management style… Then, if the organization is to continue, a new or modified implicit ‘agreement’ that ‘works’ for both parties must be adopted, until it stops working… It’s continuous cycle adapting to ever-changing environment of– management, workers, markets, competition, resources…

In the article Neurotic Styles of Management by Kurt Motamedi writes: There are great managers, and there are not so great managers, and there are managers who are on the edge of sanity… Some managers practice styles of management that are neurotic, and elements of these are very common in many organization, e.g.; Explosive: Don’t get in my way… Implosive: Don’t let me down… Abrasive: No one is good enough… Narcissistic: Are they useful to me? Apprehensive: No one can be trusted… Compulsive: Get focused… Impulsive: Change for change’s sake… Often out of fear and opportunism, workers adopt and mimic the neurotic styles of their managers and influential leaders. In such settings a workplace culture becomes– abuse, toxic…

In these toxic cultures, everyone– managers, workers, partners… experience a broad range of unproductive feelings of helplessness, distrust, defensiveness, anger, apathy, even depression… When habitually neurotic workers are advanced to key leadership positions, the pattern continues and inevitable the organizations suffers… Such styles of management (or perversions of management) often reflects the inability to– learn, understand, self-actuate… changes that are necessary for a sustainable organization…

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In the article Helicopter Styles of Management by human factor writes: Many managers practice the helicopter styles of management– these are managers who hover-over workers, partners… in well-intentioned but ill-fated attempt to provide support… These are ‘givers’ gone awry– managers so desperate to help others that they develop a white knight complex and end-up causing harm… According to Sandy Lim; the helicopter styles of management, in the extreme, inhabits workers from– independent thinking, creative problem solving, decisions-making, and the opportunity to fail and learn from failure… Managers that hover tend to– tell workers what to do, when to do it, and how to do it…

The ‘helicopter management style’ is stuck in the past… it’s uses management concepts and techniques that no longer jibe with current market realities…To succeed in ever-changing markets– management must have a flexible, adaptable organization that can change direction, quickly… and this can only be gotten by having– empowered, enabled workers who can perform at high levels and achieve goals without someone constantly hovering over them… As manager, the responsibility isn’t to make decisions for workers; it’s to teach workers how to make decisions that are good for customers, organization… The responsibility isn’t to solve problems for workers, it’s to coach them to creatively solve problems on their own… The responsibility isn’t to micro-manage every aspect of workers’ work, it’s to give them the information and resources they need… Then, to get out-of-the-way and let workers do their work!

Management by Walking Around (MBWA): This style (it may not even be a style) is about ‘walking around’ as an unplanned movement within a workplace.. versus, a planned movement, appointment, when workers expect a visit from management at scheduled times… The expected benefit is that management by this ‘randomness of movement and interaction’ with workers is more likely to improve workplace morale, sense of organizational purpose, productivity and overall experience of the organization.. it’s a gesture of comradery… as compared to management remaining in their specific office/ desk area, and scheduling formal worker meeting at specific time and place…

According to Adam Toporek; style of management characterized by ‘walking around’ or ‘wandering about’ (MBWA) the workplace is not about policing… At the heart of the MBWA concept is walking with an open mind, e.g.; it’s a casual time for management to communicate with workers– not asking specific work questions– but just to listen to what they have to say, let them know that they are doing important work, let them know that management cares… The most effective management gets to know workers, i.e.; know their frustrations, concerns, questions, beliefs, problems, dreams, goals, strengths, weaknesses…

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In the article Management by ‘Walking Around’ Vs. Management by ‘Gemba Walk’ by Jeff Roussel writes: There is a misconception that management by ‘walking around’ and management by ‘gemba walk’ are the same thing… and although they may be related because they both involve ‘walking’ that is where the similarly ends. The term ‘gemba’ originates from Japanese word for ‘real place’… It refers to the actual place where work is done, such as; factory shop floor, or nursing unit where care is delivered to patients, or product design station… The goal of a ‘gemba walk’ is to examine the current state of a particular process by observing it in action at the place where it occurs: The aim is narrow, focused, very specific… Whereas, management by ‘walking around’ (MBWA) involves seeing what’s going on more broadly (i.e., just say hello and visit workers at their location)… In other words, a ‘gemba walk’ takes management to specific place to observe a particular activity, which is planned ahead of time…

According to Dr. W. Edwards Deming; ‘management by walking around’ is hardly ever effective because when management is just ‘walking around’ they usually do not pause long enough at any one location to get any useful information– it’s a basic form of workplace socializing… and often, walking around is misinterpreted as management spying or interfering with workers activities, unnecessarily… Whereas, organizations that use ‘gemba walks’ create structure… management has specific questions for workers at each level, management spends time trying to learn and understand the work that is actually being done… there is nothing wrong with management taking stroll around workplace from time-to-time, but ‘management by walking around’ cannot take the place of– purposeful, well executed– ‘gemba walk’…

Studies show that 70% of workers are either; slightly or actively ‘disengaged’ in work… and it may be just coincidence that workers disengagement happened with the rise of so many ‘different’ styles of management… Management styles that can vary, in extremes, from– no management, to micro-management, to collaborative management, to participative management, to laissez-faire management, to autocratic management, to democratic management, to flexible management… Hence there is no wonder why workers’ sense of engagement is  very low…

However, it’s important to recognize that these many styles of management are all an invention of academia’s desired to publish and consult… using fantasized management theories rather than the realities of the– ‘actual’ real-time actions, reactions of managers and workers behaviors within each individual organization… Great management fully understands their workers individual– skills, capabilities, behavior, expectation … and they adopts their method for managing each particular organizational ensemble based on mutual and implied ‘contact’ with their workers… without trying to fit within some predefined style of management category…

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But most organizations are so indoctrinated by the management theory that styles of management are predefined categorizes and they must fit their management practices within one or more of a category: It’s a neurotic rational… Until management truly understand their workers, culture, expectations… and adopts to the realities of their ‘particular’ organization– at given time and circumstance– no style (or category) of management will work and organizations will continue with high rates of workers disengagement…

Managerialism– An Ideology Outdated: Modern Cultural Shifts Requires Rethink of Very Concept of Management.

What is happening to the ‘concept and role of management’ in the modern-day organization? According to Gary Hamel; tomorrow’s organizational imperatives lie outside the performance envelope of today’s bureaucracy-infused management practices… Equipping organizations to tackle the future requires a management revolution– no less momentous than the one that spawned modern industry… In the 20th Century, companies were often successful by following the precepts of hierarchical bureaucracy or ‘managerialism’, which is characterized by– professional managers, focus on profit, tell employees what to do, work performance through rules, roles, plans and reports, achieving efficiency through economies of scale… According to Steve Denning; in the last quarter of the 20th Century additional corollaries were added, for example; focus tightly on maximizing shareholder value, strategy is all about competitiveness, lowering-costs is off-shoring… then, globalization and Internet changed everything… manage th6U39ARS9

Now in the 21st Century cultural shifts change everything where customers, e.g.; have real choices, access to instant reliable information, ability to communicate with each other– anywhere, anytime, anyplace… Power in the marketplace has shifted from seller to buyer. Customers are insisting on– better, cheaper, quicker, smaller; along with more convenient, reliable, personalized services… and, in highly competitive markets, organizations must continuously innovate to stay relevant…  As a result, a veritable revolution in the very meaning of ‘management’ is under way… In fact managerialism, the very foundation of 20th Century management practice, is under attack…

Managerialism is an ideology and process that establishes the ‘manager’ as the critical player in any organization hierarchy… it promotes the idea that a tightly managed organization is essential for success, as opposed to individuals or groups… it’s the notion that management skills are not specific to any particular organization or industry, and that managers are completely transferable between any organization or industry— the manager is the critical link, independent of any organization; whether it’s a– school, hospital, manufacturing, retail… it matters not: Any well-trained manager can manager any organization, industry… However, some experts say– not true; this ideology is outdated and no longer relevant in modern-day organizations…

According to Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms; there is a distinction between organizations that are defined by ‘old power’ and ‘new power’… where ‘old power’ relies on the exclusive nature of ‘ownership’– what they ‘own, know, control– that nobody else does’… And, ‘new power’ relies on ‘sharing’– what they ‘own, know, control– that unleashes the activities of many others’… Organizations are also distinguished by their values; where ‘old values’ are driven by– managerialism, competition, professionalism… And, ‘new value’ are driven by– self-organization, collaboration, DIY spirit… This shift away from a world defined by hierarchy, to one shaped by mass participation is– unleashing the ‘power to create’, where ‘everyone is a change-maker’…. this revolution is not happening overnight; it’s part of a long march away from last century, when ‘old power/old value’ organizations were widely regarded as very essence of all that was modern:Think— Kodak, Polaroid, Lehman, Pan Am, Enron, Sharper Image, Washington Mutual Bank, Bethlehem Steel… manage imagesIMR0UTT0

In the article Managerialism by Chris Jury writes: Managerialism is usually a derogatory term used to describe a range of theories and techniques developed and implemented in large organizations by management gurus and major business schools across the Anglo-American world, over the last 20 years… The basic concept of managerialism is that structurally all organizations are essentially the same and therefore, there is one over-arching theory of management that can be applied to all organizations. The promotion of this theory by ‘top business schools’ has led to the development of a form of technical segregation that excludes people who are not part of this educated elite… This allowed for the emergence of a new type of career manager whose knowledge is not specific to any industry or activity; but who can, theoretically, move between unrelated organizations, industries…

The logic behind these ‘managerialists’ is that all organizations are essentially the same, and it’s their efficient manipulation of the common underlying structures that leads to success of the organization… this makes managers critical to the organization, rather than the people who actually deliver the services… This logic inevitably leads to diminution in status of specific skills of particular professions or industries, and often leads managers to perceive all non-management staff as interchangeable production staff; as human resources to be exploited by the organization (private or public), making no distinction between ‘professional practitioners’ and other forms of support or production staff…

Professional practitioners are the people who actually carry out the core activities of the organization, for example; in schools– these are teachers; in hospitals– doctors, nurses; in technology– engineers, scientists… Before dominance of managerialism, the knowledge and experience of professional practitioners was where the authority and power of an organization often resided, and indeed for many customers or users they inevitably still are, for example; if you are sick you do not want appointment with a hospital manager; but rather with a doctor who can prescribe best possible treatment based on their medical knowledge and experience; not a bureaucratic non-medical manager… manage managing-in-the-21st-century-31-638

In the article Managerialism by John Quiggin writes: As with most terms that end in; ‘ism’… managerialism is more often used pejoratively than favorably… The standard assumption is that management is a science on par with– physics, or biology, or at least with economics… The central doctrine of managerialism is that the differences between organizations, such as; say– university and automotive company… are less important than their similarities, and that the performance of all organizations can be optimized by the application of generic management skills and theory. It follows that the crucial element of organizational reform is the removal of obstacles to the ‘right to manage’… Managerialists rejects the idea that there is any fundamental difference, for example; between the operations of– a hospital and a manufacturing company… In both cases, it’s claimed the optimal policy is to design an organization that respond directly to consumer demand, and to operate the organization using generic management techniques and principles…

In the article Management Revolution by Steve Denning writes: A new management concept is emerging capable of achieving; continuous innovation, transformation, disciplined execution… while delighting those for whom the work is done, and inspiring those doing the work… These are fundamentally different principles, which involve not merely the application of– new thinking, technology, realities of new social priorities… but, according to Thomas Kuhn; these represent a paradigm shift and different mental model of how the world works leading to different ways of thinking, speaking, acting… None of the principles or practices are individually new; but the implementation is new when they all work together in collaboration…

Furthermore, since many of the sacred cows of the 20th Century are dying, for example; maximizing shareholder value is now ‘a dumb idea’, or search for holy grail of ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ is now recognized as futile, or essence of strategy seen as coping with competitors is obsolete, or uni-directional value chain… hence, the very core of 20th Century management thinking is now a problem, not a solution… In addition, the short-term gains of large-scale off-shoring of manufacturing is now recognized to have caused massive loss of competitive capacity; and the supposed distinctions between leaders and managers have collapsed… To top it off, a slew of management books suggest that the managerialist organizations represent a failure so deep and pervasive that there are hardly words to describe it, hence a veritable revolution in management is under way… manage thZBGKZJBU

Confronting managerialism offers a scathing critique of the crippling influence of many top business school and much of their management principles teachings… According to Robert R. Locke and J. C. Spender; managers who were once well-regarded as custodians of the economic engines vital to economic growth and social progress now seem closer to the rapacious ‘robber barons’ of the 1880s… In effect, responsible management has given way to ‘managerialism’, whereby an elite caste of business people are disconnected from any ethical considerations– they call the shots and often without social concerns… All this brings into questions, not only the social ethics of the management caste, but its management efficacy– compared to systems of management that are highly employee participative and dependent– and the often failed attempts, after the facts, to ‘bolt-on’ ethics and social responsibility as mere window-dressing…

However, according to Chris Dillow; there is a grain of justification for the imposition of managerialist values, for without them you might get futile perfectionism in which nothing ever gets finished, for example; Leonardo da Vinci might have benefited from a bit of management, and pursuit of excellence can be a mask for self-indulgence or even idleness… Nevertheless, there is a tendency for proponents to push the managerialist value system too far… According to Martin Parker; management is increasingly being seen as a problem and not a solution, it’s the beginnings of a cultural shift in the very  concept of management and the role of management in modern-day organizations–it’s a significant change… More important, it’s opening-up the possibility of exploring non-managerial alternatives to contemporary assumptions about organization… and even the radical notion that organizations can operate without– management, managers, management schools…

Holacracy — Different Management Concept: Imagine– No Titles, No Managers, No Hierarchy, No Boss… Fad or Future

Holacracy® is a management concept that ditches all traditional ways we look at ‘work’– no job titles, no managers, no organization hierarchy, even no boss… Holacracy® is a total transformation for structuring, governing, running… an organization… and a new way of achieving control by distributing power… it replaces traditional top-down management… According to Brian Robertson; Holacracy® is management based on the tasks a company needs to accomplish, rather than a standard reporting structure… It’s sort of like a game, e.g.; there are rules, workers are responsible for their own tasks, and there is no micro-management… also, no one has to be stuck doing the same task all the time… it generates organizational clarity… it’s adaptable, quick changing both for work that needs to be done, as well as, how work is being fulfilled… For some Holacracy® spells end of traditional management, as we know it. But for others, the concept is complete insanity…

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According to Martin Newman; I struggle to see this as a panacea. I see how balance needs to be struck between formal and informal leadership, and greater use of distributed leadership. But, much of Holacracy does not make sense… good managers and leaders know that they simply must talk to people and not defer to a management model that says, they don’t exist. Clearly traditional leaders must adopt and change from managing people to empowering people… But, leaders (how every defined) are still needed to be responsible for the entire company… also, the role of an enlightened leader is not to dictate; how, when, where… people do their work… but to distribute the power of leadership… It’s a huge cultural shift and it relies on trust– delegating power, joint decision-making, shared sense of purpose… these are the things we’re seeing and discussed more in the workplace… Seen this way, then Holacracy type management does makes a lot more sense…

Who’s in Charge? Is Holacracy® workable model for organizations– The idea of self-directed or self-managed teams is not new… In the mid 80s, a number of manufacturing companies instituted a similar flat hierarchy under belief that workers would be more productive if they were empowered through greater autonomy. A number of large, multi-national companies, such as; Shell, Cummins… adopted the method for a short time, but it failed… The adoption of a Holacracy type concept saw an exodus of many senior management talents, and companies soon realized that experienced managers would rather leave the company than lose their titles. In fact, according to Jan Klein; the experiment was doomed from the start… people just don’t self-regulate as well as the companies had hoped… Teams are not good at self-disciplining themselves… Only one company made Holocracy last long-term; it was a small, rural factory where everyone knew everyone. It was, in essence, an extended family business model supported by a strong community foundation… There is something intriguing about the notion of truly democratic business culture. But, hard to imagine corporate leadership embracing an idea that essentially eliminate their authority…

According to Sanjay Srivastava; people are social animals who travel in packs and care about two things: First, who is dominant? Second, who likes them? They say humans subconsciously rely on visible cues like attractive physical features or extroverted personalities to assign status in a group, which has no labels to indicate otherwise… In a company devoid of bosses, these perceptions of status will take hold to establish a pecking order… Add, the fact that people naturally strive to attain higher status in the form of admiration, respect… from peers and those perceived as more powerful. In Holacracy®, people’s instinctive inclination to climb up the ranks at work finds no reward when there is no boss to offer feedback or pat on the back… That’s because status is as important to us as breathing… Research shows that perceptions of social status– of ourselves and others– and our overall standing in social hierarchies affect how we make decisions, how altruistic we are, as well as, our overall mental and physical health…  Some workers will therefore naturally converge around a perceived leader, leaving others feeling insecure. Since our brains are hardwired to tune in to threats over rewards, people tend to act more defensively when they feel their status is at stake… In Holacracy® the titles disappear, but human dynamics won’t. In an environment where everyone is leader, some other mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure that everyone can maintain and optimize the tenets of fairness, trust, transparency… so the entire organization can move forward…

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In the article Should Your Business Embrace Holacracy®? by openview writes: What is Holacracy, exactly? And, is it right for your company? Imagine walking in to work one day to discover that you no longer had a boss or manager to report to. Instead, you are your own boss, and you work in self-organized teams– rather than hierarchy squad of managers, executives… in addition, now you are also responsible for influencing the company’s purpose… Sound a little far-fetched or utopic? At Zappos, a company that employs about 1,500 people, this management approach is reality and it’s got a name; Holacracy®. According to John Bunch; one of the core principles of Holacracy® is people taking accountability for their work, and it’s not leaderless– there are people who hold a bigger scope of purpose for the organization than others– but, leadership is distributed into each role– everyone is expected to lead and be an entrepreneur in their own roles…

At a high level, Holacracy® is about authority, leadership… In a holacratic environment, no one has the power to tell anyone else what to do, and there are no organization chart that dictates specific responsibilities for each role in the company… Instead, authority is distributed among all members and meetings are held to establish responsibilities and focus on company’s key issues… Although while stripping a company of all management structure might sound like perfect way to induce uncontrollable chaos; Holacracy’s  supporters suggest that it often has opposite effect… Ultimately, there are a few key arguments in favor of holacratic structure, e.g.; gives everyone a voice… brings clarity… highly adjustable, adaptable… Yes, there are plenty of potential pitfalls, for example; without any one person, i.e., the boss, truly in charge of the organization… how exactly will a growing company deal with the inevitable business challenges, e.g.; scaling, risk, hiring, firing, corporate governance, financial matters… According to William Tincup; Holacracy has a few potential issues with that might prevent it from being effective in large organizations, e.g.; size and complexity… retaining talent… corporate governance… transition from hierarchic to holacratic… While Holacracy has been around for a few years, there are good reasons why few large corporations have adopted it… The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to determine with certainty whether Holacracy® will work in a company until you actually try it. And while it might be a wildly successful transition that makes the company significantly more streamlined, innovative, and efficient, it could also send the company down a slippery slope…

In the article Making Sense Of Holacracy by Steve Denning writes: Holacracy® is essentially a set of inward-looking hierarchical mechanisms… Each is required to be run democratic and open, with exhaustively detailed procedures on how things like– meetings are to be managed, how decisions are to be made… But more important, the word ‘customer’ or a reference to any feedback mechanism from customers don’t appear even once in the Holacracy® Constitution… In addition, there may be no one person with the formal title of ‘manager’, but certainly there are ‘roles’ that are in every respect– managers, except for the formal title of ‘manager’. The fact that the accountability of the role is changed in accordance with governing rules, does not make him or her any less of a manager, in the normal sense of that word… In fact the responsibility of the ‘core roles’ are spelled out in exhaustive detail…  And, to suggest that there are no managers is absurd… Notice that in the media the hue and cry  about Holacracy is: Whatever happened to the managers? But, the more pertinent question should be: Whatever happened to the customer?

There are no explicit feedback mechanisms from the customer, i.e. the people for whom the work is being done… When so much time and effort is spent on the micro-details of the internal decision-making mechanisms and absolutely no attention given to external feedback mechanisms, one could easily get the idea that internal mechanisms are supremely important, while the customer is irrelevant. Unless and until this ‘gap’ is rectified, Holacracy® risks being a distraction from the central business challenge, namely– how to make organizations better able to add value to customers through continuous innovation... Nevertheless, even in firms having intense, even obsessive, focus on adding value to customers, something along lines of Holacracy® has possibilities… Holacracy offers one approach to revolutionizing the process of management– it’s democratic, but it’s heavy… For most organizations, particularly large organizations, the important issues are growth, profitability… delighting customers through  innovation… and not, in most cases, its internal administrivia… Hence, Holacracy® in current form is not very helpful; but, this is not to say that it cannot evolve to become more useful…

In the article Holes in Holacracy® by The Economist writes: Every so often a company emerges from the herd to be lauded as embodiment of leading-edge management thinking: Think of Toyota and its lean manufacturing system, or GE and its Six Sigma excellence… The latest candidate for apotheosis is Zappos (owned by Amazon) that believes that happy workers breed happy customers. Tony Hsieh, its boss, said that he is turning the company into a Holacracy… and replacing its current hierarchy with more democratic system of overlapping, self-organizing teams. Until Zappos embraced it, no large company had taken Holacracy seriously… The idea was invented in 2007 by Brian Robertson who was inspired in part by a description of Holarchy in a 1967 book, The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler… Koestler argued that the brain is made up of holons that are autonomous and self-determining yet also fundamentally dependent on the brain as a whole. In a similar spirit, Mr. Robertson says that the whole that is a firm should consist of overlapping ‘circles’, each a team of employees who have come together spontaneously around a specific task… Will Zappos success help Holacracy thrive in the brutally competitive market for management ideas? There is good reason to be skeptical…

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According to Julian Birkinshaw; nine-tenths of the approximately 100 branded management ideas I’ve studied lost their popularity within a decade or so… Among the latest cast-offs, it seems, is– Google’s much admired– 20% time, in which workers got a day a week to work on their own projects; the company is reported to be quietly side-lining it… Other, generally more timid, forms of democratic decision-making are being tried at long-established technology companies, whose bosses worry that their rigid hierarchies put them at a disadvantage to nimbler, less regimented young rivals, e.g.; IBM is experimenting with ‘agile management’, in which self-governing teams have regular ‘scrums’ to decide the next ‘sprint’, or stage, of the project… GE is rolling out ‘FastWorks’, a system inspired by Silicon Valley’s ‘lean startup’ movement, itself inspired by agile management… Haier, a Chinese appliance-maker, last year split its workforce into 2,000 self-managed teams that perform different roles…

Some management experts regard the whole idea of stripping away hierarchy as wishful thinking… According to Jeffrey Pfeffer; hierarchy is a fundamental principle of all organisational systems… According to Evan Williams; it’s not about discarding hierarchy altogether as making it more fluid… This type of management seems to work fine for smaller companies, e.g.; companies that relatively small, fast-growing, full of creative people who shun a more conformist workplace. According to some experts, Holacracy® might be good fit for Zappos, which has already shown a pronounced proclivity to go its own way. However, there is less confident about its suitability for more conventional firms. For these, they says–main thing to remember with any new management concept is; first, do no harm…

Holacracy® is a new management for structuring, governing and running organizations… and the bottom line for organizations that run with Holacracy is ‘purpose’, that is– purpose of the company, purpose of the work, purpose of the individual doing the work… Holacracy® is a new way of thinking about management and it challenges tradition to consider how work and people are organized. According to Stephanie Taylor Christensen; the goal of Holacracy is to produce results through complete transparency and realistic alignment of roles and responsibilities. For small-businesses owners, making everyone on the payroll accountable for the company’s success may in fact be the structure’s most appealing aspect… Because employees can hold varying degrees of responsibility in any number of circles in Holacracy– and those circles change, evolve with business needs at any given time– Holacracy may be the answer to maximizing the productivity of teams, particularly as business needs ebb and flow…

However, people must be willing to share power, this management style leaves no room for an- I’m the boss- mentality, despite the fact that they may be the most financially vested person in the business… every employee is essentially an owner of the business, and they are empowered to make real contributions to the business. Because they’re encouraged to put their creativity and skills to use to solve problems and seek ways to constantly improve existing processes (even beyond scope of what they were technically ‘hired’ to do), as well as finding greater fulfillment in their jobs… But is Holacracy® really worth the total disruption of an organization? Well, it just depends…

Evidence-Based Management– Fact-Based Decision-Making: Forget Folklore, Fads, What You Think is True: Get the Facts

Evidence-based management is a way of thinking, looking, acting… at the world. The mind-set rests on two disciplines: 1.) a willingness to put aside belief and conventional wisdom– the dangerous half-truths that many embrace– and instead hear and act on the facts; 2.) an unrelenting commitment to gather the facts and information necessary to make more informed, intelligent decisions and to keep pace with new evidence… and use the new facts to update practices… According to Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton; if doctors practiced medicine the way many companies practice management, then there would be far more sick, dead patients and more doctors would be in jail… managers are seduced by far too many half-truths; ideas that are partly right but also partly wrong and that damages companies over and over again. Yet, managers routinely ignore or reject solid evidence… Evidence-based management (EBM) is a process that explicitly uses current, best available evidence in management decision-making. Its roots are in evidence-based medicine– a movement that applies scientific method to improve medical practice, and the essence is–get the facts about what works… that’s the whole idea behind evidence-based management… In traditional management we fall back on basic methods, for example; come up with an idea, try it out, test it, measure it, modify it, based on what you learn… And, evidence-based management can help with this process by looking for risks, drawbacks… in what people recommend; which may avoid making decisions just based on untested, strongly held beliefs… rather than the facts. This is all fine and good but it’s simply not reasonable to expect managers in today’s fast-moving, competitive business environment to slog through masses of research data, studies… On the other hand, making decisions based on often unverified, incomplete information is one of the things that makes management an art…

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However, at end of day, managers have to pull together information, recommendations… as best they can and make their own decisions… According to Stephen Gill; my immediate reaction to evidence-based management was; Duh! What have companies been doing for the past hundred years of modern management… managing by the-seat-of-their-pants? I suppose the answer is, ‘Yes’…  If you ask corporate leaders if they use research to make their decisions; most if not all, would say– of course I do’. Most leaders already believe that they practice evidence-based management, but they tend to look for data that confirms what they already believe to be true and disregard the rest of the data that might say otherwise… The issue is not that leaders choose to ignore evidence; it’s that they, like most humans, suffer from a ‘confirmation bias’ and a ‘illusion of cause’ (i.e., action causes outcome)… The challenge is to help managers become more aware of bias, and overcome their flawed way of thinking…

In the article Evidence-Based Management by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton write: A bold new way of thinking has taken the medical establishment by storm in the past decade; the idea that decisions in medical care should be based on the latest and best knowledge of what actually works… According to Dr. David Sackett, he is the individual most associated with evidence-based medicine; defines it as the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients… If may sound laughable, after all; What else besides evidence would guide medical decisions? If you believe that then you are woefully naive about how doctors have traditionally plied their trade: Yes, the research is out there– thousands of studies are conducted on medical practices and products every year… but unfortunately, physicians don’t use much of it. Recent studies show that only about 15% of doctors’ decisions are evidence based… Instead, very often doctors rely on old common practices, for example; obsolete knowledge gained in medical school… long-standing but never proven medical traditions… methods gleaned from experience that they believe in and are most skilled at applying… information from hordes of vendors with products, services to sell… The same behavior holds true for business managers looking to cure their organizational ills. Indeed, we would argue that business managers are actually much more ignorant than doctors about the most appropriate business cure, prescription… and, they’re less eager to find out. If doctors practiced medicine like many companies practice management, there would be more unnecessarily sick, dead patients… and more doctors in jail or suffering other penalties for malpractice…

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Many experts say, it’s time to start an evidence-based movement in the ranks of business managers. Admittedly, the challenge may be much greater in business than in medicine… Simon and Garfunkel were right when they sang; man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest… It’s hard to remain devoted to the task of building full proof, evidence-based cases for action when it’s clear that good storytelling often carries the day. Indeed, often we reject the notion that only quantitative data should qualify as evidence. As Einstein put it; not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted… When used correctly; stories, cases studies… are powerful tools for use in building management knowledge, but there are limits beyond which they are ineffective… According to Gordon MacKenzie; good stories have a place in an evidence-based world, e.g.; in suggesting hypotheses, augmenting other (often quantitative) research, rallying people who are affected by change… As with medicine, management is and will likely always be a craft that can be learned only through practice, experience… Yet, we believe that managers (like doctors) can practice their craft more effectively if they are routinely guided by logic, facts, evidence… and they must relentlessly seek new insight knowledge, wisdom from both inside and outside their companies, and keep updating their assumptions, knowledge, skills…

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In the article Evidence-Based Management Can Make Business Competitive by Chris Malcolm writes: Evidence-based management is a process in business management that emphasizes planning, problem-solving… based on careful research, analysis… rather than intuition, ideology… Popularized by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, it emerged from research into clinical practice in medicine, and its principles may help businesses approach their operations more rationally, and even improve their competitiveness in the marketplace.

  • Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Encourages business leaders to go beyond their personal experiences, avoid management fads and treat their own ideological beliefs with skepticism… When managers check their beliefs against real-world data, they will be less likely to make costly mistakes based on misleading impressions…
  • Experimentation and Learning from Mistakes: Test assumptions through experimentation, testing… before approving expensive, large-scale projects… Even failures provide reliable evidence on which to base future decisions… Mistakes learned can cut wasted time, resources… and affect a company’s bottom line…
  • Seeking New Information: Seek new knowledge, insight… from both inside and outside the company… Managerial, organizational openness to new ideas can help a company improve its market position. By systematically exploring alternatives to its normal ways of doing business, a company can discover more efficient ways to operate, and even develop entirely new business models…
  • Potential Problems with Evidence-Based Management in Business: The fact is that relatively few business managers practice it… To put EBM principles into practice, managers must wade through mountains of information-evidence, much of it incomplete, misleading or only partly relevant to particular business. In addition, EBM may diminish personal authority of business leaders by elevating facts over intangibles, such as; experience, business savvy…

Evidence-based management is a simple but not new idea… It just means finding the best evidence, facing the facts, acting on facts… rather than doing what everyone else does, or what you have always done, or what you thought was true… According to Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton; leaders must have the courage to act on the best facts they have right now, and the humility to change what they do, as better information is found… Yet surprisingly few leaders actually do it. Decision-making is the essence of management, which explains why so much attention continues to be focused on how to do it better. In recent years, much is written about evidence-based, or fact-based, decision-making. The core idea is simply that decisions are supported by hard facts, sound analysis… and these decisions are more likely to be better than decisions made on the basis of instinct, folklore, informal anecdotal evidence… Many organizations are heeding the call and are investing heavily in big data infrastructures, analytic tools… assuming that evidence-based decisions will result in better over all decision-making… However, there is a downside; the primary risk of making decisions by relying exclusively on hard evidence-just the facts is that the algorithms, models… used to transform evidence into a decision can provide an incomplete, misleading representation of reality…

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According to Bret L. Simmons; I am strong advocate of evidence-based management. But, it can be very difficult to implement, for example; when doing research for evidence to support management decision– I often, after reading an article in an important journal or study… have one of three reactions when I think of how I would explain the relevance of the research to practicing managers: 1.) Huh? What the heck did they say? 2.) Ok: I get it, but what am I supposed to do with it? 3.) Is that it? There is really nothing radically new or different with it… Even more challenging– the best researchers-experts often disagree about the meaning of the same evidence… According to William Kelvin; EBM changes how managers– think, act… It’s a way of seeing things differently, and to manage in ‘reality’ without emotion or bias… EBM uses only hard facts, it discards opinions rejects it as total nonsense… There is no room for dictatorial, opinionated, discriminate thinkers… who often feel they already know all the answers… In many cases, managers pay little or no attention to quality-source of evidence that they rely on to make decisions. As a result, decisions are mostly based on so-called ‘best practice’, which may include; unreliable, non-relevant sources of information, e.g., experiences, stories, success, failure… Whereas, an evidence-based decision seeks to guide managers in thinking in terms of; clear logic, key facts, unbias data… and validated sources, which all supports the best possible decision-making… According to Richard Feynman; first key principle is not to fool yourself when making decisions when, in fact, you are the easiest person to fool

Leadership Vs. Management– Distinction is Absurd, Superficial: Shift Emphasis to– Creating, Building, Teaming, Doing…

Leadership Vs. Management; kill the word ‘manager’… kick it, shoot it, just be done with it. One of the oldest running myths in the business world is that leaders and managers are somehow different, but in fact– leaders are managers, and managers are leaders… According to Ronald E. Riggio; leadership and management are fundamentally different, well sort of… while we may be able to divide tasks into those that require ‘management’ (i.e., decision-making, record keeping…) and the more abstract aspects of ‘leadership’ (i.e., creating vision, inspiring followers…) the truth is that anyone who supervises others needs to be both manager and leader, to be effective... According to Peter Drucker; the excesses of modern corporations are directly related to bloated concept of leadership… businesses have more than enough leaders; what they really need are more competent managers who can do the hard work of– decision-making, planning, coaching… The typical business leader is like the leader of a marching band– they wave a stick while other people do all the work… According to Greg Schinkel; have we shifted reasoning too far towards developing leaders instead of developing effective managers? Differentiating management and leadership typically involves labeling managers as perpetuating status quo, while leaders blaze new trails and inspire employees to follow them towards grand vision. In reality, we need solid management and supervisory skills to actually get work done and deliver value to customers and results to the bottom line…

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It was once believed that leaders were ‘born not made’, this has given way to a widespread assumption that leadership is something that can be learned and therefore taught… Since the 1970s an industry has grown up to meet that demand, one that is valued at $50 billion by Forbes. There are nearly 400 accredited business schools in U.S. alone and many more around the world, teaching a curriculum driven by thousands of leadership experts who make a very decent living writing, speaking, teaching the fundamentals of this relatively new topic… According to Henry Mintzberg; we have an obsession with leadership, by focusing on a single person– leadership becomes part of the syndrome of individuality– that is undermining many organizations… and, by the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else… In business, there is surprisingly little evidence that directly links leaders to performance of many organizations. According to James Meindl; research found that the actions of many leaders, CEOs, accounted for just 15% of the variation in a company’s performance… According to Krystyn Tully; leadership is important, for sure; but, so is management… If you’re trying to do something important, then the idea of leadership is a distraction: It’s irrelevant… Just put your head down and do the best you can… History can decide if you were a true leader, manager, or whatever… you’ve got more important things to think about…

In the article Leadership vs. Management: Dangerous Distinction? by Bob Sutton writes: Thousands of books are written on leadership and management– and there are several academic journals devoted entirely to the subject… In the process of reviewing much of the literature– I’ve been bumping into an old and popular distinction that has always bugged me, i.e.; ‘leading vs. managing’… According to Warren Bennis; there is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important: To ‘manage’ means– to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct… Whereas, ‘leading’ is influencing, guiding in a direction, actions, opinions… The distinction is crucial… Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing… Also, as I continue to re-read the leadership literature, it suggest that some leaders see their job as just coming up with big, vague ideas, and then treat the details of implementation as mere management work for other workers to do…

I am all for grand visions, strategies… but, the people (leaders) who seem to have the most success are those that have a deep understanding of the details required to make them work– or if they don’t, they have wisdom to surround themselves with people (managers) who can offset their weaknesses, and who have the courage to argue with them when there is no clear path between their dreams and reality… I am not rejecting the distinction between leadership and management, but the best leaders do something that might be most properly called– a mixture of leadership and management, or at least lead in a way that constantly takes into account importance of management… Some of the worst senior executives use distinctions between leadership and management as an excuse to avoid learning-knowing details so they can more clearly understand– the risk, rewards… and select the right strategies… According to Bennis; to do the right thing, a leader needs to understand what it takes to do things right…

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In the article Leadership is Overrated by wally writes: The great cry of management literature for the last twenty years has been: We must have more leaders! We must have more leaders! It’s nonsense… Pick up the dictionary and look up ‘leader’…  It will probably be something like this; leader: one who leads. .. Note, that we are talking about a leader as being defined by what they do… The fact is anyone who is responsible for performance of a group is a leader, because people follow the leader’s example; that’s what leaders do, they set the example, the direction… If people follow you, then you’re a leader… You can lead well or you can lead poorly, but you’re leading and that’s about defining, implementing the group’s– purpose, direction, culture… When you’re making those kinds of decisions, when you’re setting the example which defines culture, or when you’re talking to people about– why and what they do is important… then you’re doing leadership work, and you are a leader… Whereas when you are managing, which involves setting, implement priorities… that isn’t any more or any less noble than leadership work… Both must be done and done well… So, don’t be misled by the jargon and hype; If you are responsible for a– company, group, team… then– you are doing leadership, you are doing management, you are doing supervision…

In the article Underrated Managers, Overrated Leaders by Harvey Schachter writes: In many organizations ‘leadership’ is considered the high-level, which is distinct and far more important than ‘management’… According to Henry Mintzberg; leaders who separate leadership from management are a danger to the organization… Too many leaders are disconnected from what is going on in their organization… He points to the late Steve Jobs, celebrated as a leader and visionary, who changed the world with his innovations… Mr. Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., was hailed as the ultimate leader. And, his lack of people skills has been viewed as evidence he was a terrible manager. His success seems to prove the point that strong leadership trumps management: If you’re a great leader, you can be a crappy manager and still succeed…

But Prof. Mintzberg has a different view: Steve Jobs was truly extraordinary. I am not sure that you would call him a leader, other than perhaps in a tech sense… He was not a natural leader of  people. That happened through his intricate knowledge, management of the product of the organization… Also, according to Prof. Mintzberg; Jack Welch, who has been called the best executive of the past century, but he didn’t leave any legacy other than a better-managed corporation than the one he inherited when he took the helm at G. E. There are no special products that he developed, no new industries or even segments of industries he created. He was a manager– highly gifted one– and because of that he was very successful… So, why are so many executives (leaders) disconnected with their organization? It’s because they bought into the going notion they would rather be leader than manager, thus they need not know– any of the nuts and bolts… but just provide vision…

In the article Manager as Leader by mike writes: The false dichotomy between leaders and managers stems from the absurd notion that organizations need ‘leaders’ at the top, and staff of ‘managers’ at all other levels below them– it’s a modern form of Plato’s class distinction between ‘kings/philosophers’ (leaders), ‘guardians’ (managers), and ‘workers/ slaves’… It’s early form of Taylorism… According to J. Adair; leadership vs. management is one of those topics that re-appears over and over again. I have fallen victim to many long discussions where both parties were so assured of their correctness they just keep repeating clichés, such as– ‘leaders’ lead people, ‘managers’ manage tasks… there is a difference; but, difference is not all that great because– managers are leaders, just as leaders are managers…

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We must all stop looking, waiting, anticipating… for the emergence of better leaders and, instead, take responsibility for the quality of our own organizations! It’s common practice, no matter at what level people are in the organization (i.e., employee, supervisor, manager, VP…); they all chant the same mantra; if only we had better leadership we would not be in position we are today! Variations on this theme include; When upper management get their act together; I’ll be able to do my job correctly! Another favorite; It’s got to start from the top! Surely, every organization needs a person who will remind them of– what the organization is trying to achieve, and why it’s important… but, leadership must come from all levels within an organization… and, not just from one person designated as the ‘leader’. According to Colleen Sharen; importance of leadership is vastly over-rated, leaders are not the silver bullet solution for most problems, issues… According to Henry Mintzberg; emphasis on leadership has led to emphasis on style over substance, and ‘leader’ over ‘follower’… By the excessive promotion of leadership we, in fact, demote everyone else. We create clusters of followers who must be driven to perform, instead of leveraging the natural propensity of people to cooperate, collaborate… in groups…

However, by all indications the general public, businesses, academics… are convinced we need leadership… Maybe because we need to believe that someone knows what to do in these crazy, complex, confusing times… Perhaps we need to jettison the platonic ideal of the one perfect leader… According to Mintzberg; suggests that there are few effective managers, and maybe we need to ditch the idea of– leaders, managers, followers... What could be more natural than to see organizations not as mystical hierarchies of authority, but as communities of engagement, where every member is respected and so returns that respect… We’re told how important it is to be a leader. Every college in U.S. claims to be ‘creating tomorrow’s leaders’… We’re told to ‘develop our leadership skills’ if we want a good job or to get ahead in life… Leaders are important, we’re told… but, too many leaders and not enough followers is a problem. Nothing gets done if everyone is in charge… Leaders without followers are useless… When Henry Mintzberg was asked; What type of leadership would you recommend for the 21st century? he answered without delay: Less leadership and more people who actually do stuff…

Comparing Management Styles– Search for Best Most Effective Style of Management: U.S., Europe, Asia, India, Brazil, Russia…

Management style is a method of leadership that’s employed for running a business, organization, project… it’s methodology for managing people, resources, expectations… and for achieving business goals, objectives… its getting employees to work together in harmony on a common platform and achieving the very best performance, productivity… it’s an approach for making decisions that relates to the organization, managers, and subordinates… Management styles must be adaptable, such that they are consistent with the culture of the organization, nature of the task, nature of the workforce, and personality and skills of leadership. Every style has its own unique characteristics and strong points, shortcomings, methods for getting work done… According to Jack Welch; my main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds from time to time too… According to Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt; the style of management is dependent upon the prevailing circumstance; leaders should exercise a range of management styles and should deploy them as appropriate… According to bhattathiri; the Western idea of management centers on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive…but it has failed in ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many. There is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines – their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social and indeed national development. According to Björn Stansvik; there is no blanket answer to the question: What is the best management style? Different styles are called for at different times in different situations with different colleagues… There is no one style which suits all people and all situations. The most effective managers and leaders must find ways to adapt their individual styles– it’s often said of Sir Alex Ferguson; he knows which players need an arm round the shoulder and which ones need a kick up the backside...

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In the article U.S. and European Management Styles by James Heskett Baker writes; there are marked differences in the social environment for management in Europe and U. S. In some parts of Europe, they foster management policies that may encourage more balance in a manager’s life, between work and private activities and risk and stability; whether this will produce sustained economic superiority or a model to be emulated in the U.S. is debatable… According to Antonio De Luca; if one has to generalize, it’s fair to say that U.S. pursue risk, and Europeans seek stability– (leading) to fewer opportunities with more limited financial rewards, but possibly more balance for Europeans. The solution, as usual, is a sensible convergence of these two nuanced cultural approaches… According to Roy Bingham; points out that U.S. management style seems to work best when the key needs are– speed, aggression, last-minute genius, take-chance, inspiring leadership. In boom times when it’s expansion at all costs–pick U.S. style. At other times the more deliberate, consultative European approach is your ally… According to Jose Pedro Goncalves; I take issue that there is a European style of management, pointing out that there is no one style. In some parts of Europe (as a manager)– I’m a human being. In other parts; I’m just a number. In general we (Europeans) are more human, but less flexible… According to Dr. B.V. Krishnamurthy; the search for that elusive concept of the ‘best management style’ continues, although one could argue from lessons learned that there may not be a ‘best’ style, for example; centralization and decentralization can go together, flex-time and tele-working are meant to improve productivity, and many of the ‘either/or’ concepts can be treated as complementary, to be used with discretion…

India management styleaccording to Gunasekar C Raharatnam; I doubt if there is clear approach that can be described today. Some might point towards the many family owned and managed business organizations in India, some of these are large corporate entities and leaders in their industry but most are small tightly controlled family businesses. Even such family businesses are increasingly being controlled by the recent generations of well-educated inheritors. The management ‘styles’ are changing and perhaps shifting more towards Western styles that are being pushed by management schools… India is an enormously hierarchical society and this, obviously, has an impact on management style. It’s imperative that there is a boss and that the manager acts like a boss. The position of manager demands a certain amount of role-playing from the boss and a certain amount of deferential behavior from his subordinates… Managing people in India requires a level of micro-management which many western business people feel extremely uncomfortable with but, which is likely to bring the best results…

Brazil management style considers a manager’s personal style to be of great significance and it could almost be said that his or her vision/bearing is viewed as of great an importance as their technical abilities… Relationships are of key importance in this Latin culture and the boss and subordinates work hard to foster a relationship based on trust and respect for personal dignity. First and foremost, managers are expected to manage. The boss is expected to give direct instructions and it is expected that these instructions will be carried out without too much discussion or debate (if there is debate it should be done in private to avoid showing public disrespect to the hierarchy)… Decision-making in Brazil is often reserved for the most senior people. Taking the time to build the proper working relationship is crucial to success. Coming in as an outsider is often difficult, so it is advisable to have a third-party introduction… Often the people you negotiate with will not have decision-making authority. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person.

China management style tends to follow Confucian philosophy: Relationships are deemed to be unequal and ethical behavior demands that these inequalities are respected: Older person should automatically receive respect from the younger and the senior from the subordinate. This is the cornerstone of all the China management thinking and issues such as empowerment and open access to all information are viewed by the Chinese as, at best, bizarre Western notions… Management is the directive, with the senior manager giving instructions to their direct reports who in turn pass on the instructions down the line. Subordinates do not question the decisions of superiors – that would be to show disrespect and be the direct cause of loss of face (mianzi) for all concerned… Although Western type management styles are beginning to have some influence with the younger generations…

Japan management style emphasis the need for information flow from the bottom of the company to the top: Senior management is largely a supervisory rather than ‘hands-on’ approach. Policy is often originated at the middle-levels of a company before being passed upwards for ratification. The strength of this approach is obviously that those tasked with the implementation of decisions have been actively involved in the shaping of policy… The higher a Japanese manager rises within an organization, the more important it is that he appears unassuming and not ambitious. Individual personality and forcefulness are not seen as the prerequisites for effective leadership. The key task for a Japanese manager is to provide the environment in which the group can flourish. In order to achieve this he must be accessible at all times and willing to share knowledge within the group. Manager is seen as a type of father figure who expects and receives loyalty and obedience from colleagues. In return, the manager is expected to take a holistic interest in the well-being of those colleagues: It is a mutually beneficial two-way relationship…

Russian management style tends to be centralized and directive. The boss, especially the ‘big boss’, is expected to issue direct instructions for subordinates to follow. There is little consultation with people lower down company hierarchy. Indeed too much consultation from a senior manager could be seen as a sign of weakness and lack of decisiveness. Middle managers have little power over strategy or input in significant strategic decisions. The most powerful middle managers are the ones who have the most immediate entrée to the decision-maker at the top of the organization. There is little point in wasting time debating with middle managers who do not have an easy access to the top. The most significant reason for delay in reaching a decision in Russia is that the decision has not been put in front of the real decision-maker…

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Several Observations About Management Styles by Noted Experts: Management ‘Theory Z’ is a name applied to three distinctly different psychological theories. One was developed by Abraham H. Maslow in his paper Theory-Z and another is Dr. William Ouchi’s so-called Japanese management style popularized during the Asian economic boom of the 1980s. The third was developed by W. J. Reddin in Managerial Effectiveness… Abraham Maslow, a psychologist and the first theorist to develop a theory of motivation based upon human needs produced a theory that had three assumptions: First, human needs are never completely satisfied. Second, human behavior is purposeful and is motivated by need for satisfaction. Third, these needs can be classified according to a hierarchical structure of importance from the lowest to highest… Maslow’s Theory-Z in contrast to Theory-X, which stated that workers inherently dislike and avoid work and must be driven to it, and Theory-Y, which stated that work is natural and can be a source of satisfaction when aimed at higher order human psychological needs… The original Theory-X and Theory-Y were both written by Douglas McGregor, a social psychologist who is considered to be one of the top business thinkers of all time… According to Dr. William Ouchi; Theory-Z must increase employee loyalty to the company by providing a job for life with a strong focus on the well-being of the employee, both on and off the job… The secret to Japanese success, according to Ouchi, is not technology, but a special way of managing people. This is a managing style that focuses on a strong company philosophy, a distinct corporate culture, long-range staff development, and consensus decision-making…

According to Brian Tracy; perhaps the most important single factor in what makes an environment a ‘great place to work’ is trust. Trust exists when you can say; I can make a mistake at work without being criticized or fired. When people feel free to try new things in order to do the job more effectively, increase quality, and improve customer service, all of their time, attention, and energy is focused outward, toward getting the job done better. An inspiring leader is the most important person in any organization. The ‘leader sets the tone’ by the way he talks, behaves, responds to others, and treats people every day: When the leader treats people with courtesy and respect, everyone follows the lead and treats coworkers, and most important customers with the same courtesy and respect… The biggest job of a manager is to drive out fear and, in fact, one of the best measures of a high performance workplace is the degree to which people feel free to question the boss and disagree with his ideas or decision… The greater freedom that people have to speak up and express themselves, without fear, the more positive and powerful the work environment becomes… According to Lee Polevoion; successful business leaders must first understand their own management style, then they must be flexible enough to adapt-modify their style, as necessary, in order to motivate-cultivate the most productive work environment possible…

Blended Management Styles– Changing, Adapting–Take Best of Each: Create a Hybrid That Works for Your Organization…

Management style is an organization’s philosophy about managing people and resources, which reflects its values, beliefs, culture… Management style is about people and levels of trust, priorities, competitiveness… However in today’s globalize organizations, it’s time to move beyond the traditional thinking of management styles, such as; Theory X, Theory Y… Choices today are considerably more complex than merely deciding between management philosophies/styles, and instead it more about creating, adapting… hybrid, blended styles of management, for example; taking bits-pieces of different styles and combining them into one methodology that works most effective for your organization. According to Susan M. Heathfield; management styles reflect the relationship between management and employees and the degree in which management decides to involve employees in decision-making process. The style of management is fundamental in determining the relative competitiveness of the organization and as such, management style repertoires must be continually reviewed and improved so as to create better decision-making and a more successful work environment… According to Tannenbaum; there’s an evolving continuum between management and employees, and includes– increasing role for employees and decreasing role of management in decision-making process. The continuum incorporates the traditional styles of management, they include: Tellautocratic management style; represents top down–dictatorial decision-making with little employee input… Sellsell management style; management makes decisions, then tries to persuade the employees that their decision is correct… Consultconsultative management style; management solicits input from employees for decision-making, but retains the authority to make the final decision– key for success with consultative style is informing employees up-front that their input is important, but that management will make the final decision… Joinjoin management style; management invites employees to join in making decisions, and management and employees are equal partners in decision-making process… Delegatedelegate management style; management turns much of the decision-making over to employees, however, management requires critical path feedback for decisions along designated points in the process… According to Amanda Webster; the ‘right’ management style must meet the needs of customers, employees, stakeholders… The management style must be fluid and adaptable to change for most given situations… Over the last decade, styles of management have seen an evolution of sorts due to globalization and dynamism of corporations as entities… Also, the basic mission of management is evolving from focus just on profitability to also include; employee satisfaction, social responsibility… Bottom-line; the perfect blend of any management style must promote– humanity, best practices, innovation, and profitability for an organization…

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In the article How Management Styles are Changing by drjustinbarclay writes: The methods used by management to perform organization activities are questions of style, and management styles have evolved. This evolution in style – and the proliferation of additional nuanced styles – is a result of a combination of advances in technology, forms of organizations, as well as shifts in the prevailing workforce demographic… Technology has changed the way management works… technology is seen as an enabler that links global and diverse organizations and provides tightly linked transparency that furthers management objectives. Those objectives are no longer just driven by a desire to simply control aggregated activity and profit, but also driven by ‘purpose’. These trends have given way to written works such as: Hamel’s–The Future of Management; Benko & Anderson’s–The Corporate Lattice; Hallowell’s–Shine; as well as, Pascale, Sternin, & Sternin’s–The Power of Positive Deviance; just to name a few. While these texts describe very different facets of organizational life, they share the common thread of management doing all that’s possible to identify; what’s working in organizations, how best practice can be both identified and spread throughout the organization, and places the focus on the potential of the workforce, rather than upon controlling its activities. Management styles have thus changed from choosing between varying levels of commanding-controlling resources, to instead choosing between varying levels of interaction with the value chain of an organization and resources associated with that value chain. In essence, management style is now most impacted by considerations for epitasis, where the critical question is how management will choose to leverage their unique talents to influence organization’s ecosystem. Rather than simply asking– what are the organization’s responsibilities? Now instead, management is asking– what are the organization’s ‘knowledge’ and ‘influence networks’? Since knowledge and responsibility are being widely interspersed through-out the organization…

In the article How to Change Your Management Style by Lou Dubois writes: Assessing an organization’s management style and determining that its time for a change is not an easy task… There is no one size fits all style of management that works, as each organization is different– a management style, more or less, defines an approach to managing people…  According to Jon Picoult; The most effective way to figure out if a change is needed is to solicit feedback from people you’re managing or partnering with and the environment the business is operating in…One of the defining qualities of good management is that they have professional knowledge– they have self-knowledge, in other words, they can look inward to examine their own strengths and weaknesses, and they’re also willing and happy to listen to outside input on how they can grow and change for the better… A good management style adapts to its environment, and changes when they’re needed… But, the big challenge is actually effectively changing people’s behavior… The key element is being self-aware: If you’ve taken the first step to recognize that there must be something different–a better way, then that’s a huge first step. But you also must be really objective; step outside yourself and take a candid look at what you’re doing today and understand what you need to differently. So it’s not an easy task, and it requires somebody who is good at making calculated and informed decisions, without an ego. Once you do that, just follow that path… In making a management style-organization shift; it’s important to take top-down approach with transparency from a leadership perspective. If you are changing your management style, you must first assess and make changes within yourself… According to Heineman; internally–within organization, it’s always been about clarity, alignment, focus… creating team culture, environment where employees are highly incentivized to come up with ideas, try new things, whether they fail or succeed, empower employees to be upwardly mobile… Externally–outside organization, when changing management styles, it’s important to be up-front and candid with customers, partners, stakeholders…

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In the article New International Style of Management by Garry Emmons writes: There is an ever increasingly international style of management… According to John Quelch; the international management style is an amalgam that’s built atop Western models, which have been borrowed freely from others around the world… the Western models can be very ecumenical, flexible, and open to new ideas and people: It learns from best practices in other countries and adapts accordingly… over time this kind of cross-pollination of a global management style will look less like its Western origin and more like something completely multinational... According to Rohit Deshpandé; more multinationals strive to achieve certain types of management characteristics and best practice, in order to make themselves globally competitive, even if those desired traits are not necessarily found in, or may be contrary to, the native business culture of the company’s home country. Thus, while the average companies in France, Germany, Japan… may all appear to be quite different from each other, all of these countries’ best-performing multinationals look quite similar… These findings suggest that excellence in global corporate competition demands certain success enabling management characteristics and best practices, which for top multinationals means that the corporate culture may need to trump the national culture… According to Irina Gaida; in a multicultural environment, management must strive to strike a balance between their own national cultural and being open to other value systems, management styles, and decision-making processes… many companies are finding that management and employees are willing to adjust their behavior to facilitate teamwork… This mutual adjustment eventually becomes the norm within an organization...

Management style is one of those phrases bandied about in all workplaces, and it’s a catch-all; when we say it, we have to clarify and add more to better convey what we mean. Our management style can be seen in a good light, for example: He’s very compassionate, and fiercely protective of his team… Or, it can be negatively perceived, for example: She’s a micro-manager and just can’t keep her nose out of my work. The good is often said in gratitude, and the not-so-good as grumbled whisper. So: What’s your management style like? But, more important question: Would your team agree with you, or say something different? Much of what is important in management at a particular moment has less to do with what you do, than what you have done. The culture you’ve created, the training that you’ve given, the motivation you’ve encouraged and the people who you’ve hired have all laid the groundwork to the response of your team at any given time… To achieve the level of innovation required for competitive advantage today, we must achieve a better balance of power throughout organizations. Employees need to be more fully engaged in making strategic decisions, and in planning and organizing more of their own work. To break the stranglehold of ‘organization-as-person metaphor’, employees must share in strategic thinking. Such ownership is the only way to achieve deep engagement; and as a result, management must do less telling and more facilitating, which means doing more asking, as in– What do you think?