The Human Side of Business – Minimize Management, Maximize Leadership.

Managing should be an invisible, yet a productive force.

So, how do you improve the efficiency of the human-side of Organizations needed for the future success of a business?

Everything to do with work can be changed for the better, if only Management today is comfortable with simply pointing out where the business needs to go and how it intends getting there. Then letting go, and being flexible enough to adapt and evolve as that future unfolds with all of its uncertainties.

We definitely, need another measure of people performance other than by their economic contribution, which is often not within the control of the individual. We need to measure their commitment and leadership to the well-being of the Organization.

To achieve this we need to make work something worth committing to.

Adequacy and monotony is not something that just happens; it is built into your system.  It’s the result of thoughtless social engineering, which adds nothing to improve the human-side of the business, or the abilities of the individual, because it does not build on the strengths of the individual, in-fact it builds on their ability to tolerate…. and to tolerate is to accept rather than to challenge.

The traditional “command and control” structure that has been used in organisations for over 100 years is based on military hierarchy.  It is based on the philosophy that educated, valuable employees are very rare so sets up team structures to leverage their abilities, through repeatable processes, by less educated, less valuable employees.  To make matters worse for today’s employees working in such a structure, the structure discourages thinking and innovation… don’t challenge the norm, don’t deviate from the process.

Today’s workforce requires trust & empowerment

Now you can see why it is so hard to innovate in traditional companies.  To not innovate is built into the model that most organisations have subscribed to.  Most likely, your entire workforce has been ‘cultured’ into non-innovation and simply saying ‘innovate’ doesn’t help!

Luckily society has evolved.  Our workforce is now full of highly educated employees with amazing skills and ideas who are more than willing to share their innovation with you.

… but put these people in your existing ‘stifling’ structure and the friction will either drive them your competitors, drive them to start their own competitor or break their will and fall inline with the other ‘living dead’.

I am yet to meet a team that, as a collective, are less valuable than their manager.  Those days are long gone.

Organisations that realise this shift has happened are harnessing this amazing power.  Those that haven’t are scrambling and struggling.

I find it so exciting to be part of the workforce right now.  We are seeing a shift to a new way of operating.  Smart teams, flat structures with the ability for any team member to add  value, to share ideas that can (and are) disrupting entire markets and pushing a small, bottom of the rung company to the top dog position.

It makes a lot of sense that whoever has the Service or product knowledge is most likely is to come up with an innovative solution to a specific problem.
If we are all to share in the additional benefit of productive knowledge work, we must understand what makes knowledge work more productive. Only then can we expect individuals to accept being entrusted with Leadership.

Here are few assumptions all Managers should consider.

  • Everyone in the organization prefers meaningful work, to the mindless.
  • Everyone holds a desire to learn more to become more.
  • Everyone is working toward the same outcome.
  • Everyone wants to contribute to the organizations success.
  • Everyone wants to feel that they are respected and of value.

How does your Management style stack up?
As a Manager do you see yourself as a Pathfinder, creating the most effective course for the future of the business?

As a Manager, your principle role is to create a better future by keeping good ideas alive and kicking. On my teams, we have dropped the name manager – and replaced with coach.  I’ll post some words around that and the great results we have seen since implementing it, shortly.

Steve Signature

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