The Management Manifesto

July 17, 2008 at 12:13 am Leave a comment

When you talk about management, what comes to mind? If you work for those few companies who seem to have all their ducks in a row, touting the dream-team of management, consider yourself lucky and move along. This post isn’t for you. This post is for the majority of people out there, the people who can’t help but simply shake their head when they think of management.

Management is a tricky game. One must balance efficiency with employee wellbeing. That’s something that isn’t really mentioned enough: employee wellbeing. It will not be covered much here but there is a great article in a recent COMPUTERWORLD about that topic.

First, let us define management. There are two aspects, the people – that is the individual staff members that form the hierarchical structure of the company, and the act of management – the things that they do with their time to work towards goals and objectives. The failure of management, in both forms, is rarely exclusive to one aspect but the big failures tend to muck it up on the noun side of management. They aren’t sure how to manage successfully. College didn’t do them much of a service.

One popular failure in the arena of management is due to lack of accountability. This happens when upper-level management has personal attachment to other staff members or when political agendas are involved. The first of which, in my opinion, is the worse of the two. Political ideology and agendas are a pox to management where personal relationships between management, be it romantically involved or just friends, is a clear cancerous tumor to the entire process. The signs are never very clear but when there is no accountability, it’s noticeable.

Relationships in the work place are dangerous. When I say relationships, I should make a few things clear. I am not referring to the relationships you build as a team even when you share the occasional drink at a local pub after some serious brain-sessions. What I mean is this: if you no longer feel that you can point out a person’s short-comings, you have gotten too close. Now, this is not to say that there are not tactful ways of telling someone they lack the appropriate management skills. One should always employ the appropriate amount of tact when dealing with tough subjects, but that should not stop it from occurring all together. In such a case, we would have moved outside of a working relationship.

Holding management accountable is difficult for the average employee. I know what you’re saying: I simply need to get to five o’clock and then the nightmare ends, right? If that is your opinion, please stop reading. You have more issues than I can possibly account for in this article. There are ways that you can hold management accountable for its actions or lack thereof. If you don’t want to involve yourself in the political game, it may be more difficult because this would require very sensitive movements through the chain of command. Just about every boss has a boss, sometimes you need to go out on a limb to enact change. If they all seem to lack the ability of proper management, find a new job.

Stay hopeful! If you’re in a bad situation and management is a brick wall, talk louder. Get people who can make a difference to hear you. It’s the only way you’re going to force change or, perhaps, get fired.

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Entry filed under: Policy and Practices. Tags: , , .

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