Monday, March 14, 2011

The Latest Trend in Management

Hiring a Hiring Manager. Or not. The Latest Trend in Management

"If you have no skills as a hiring manager, the solution is simple. Hire the best people available whether you like it or not." Slim Fairview

The boss should not be the super-person. The boss should be the super-worker.

Not the ubermenschen but rather the “uber-arbeitskraft“

Back in the day when I was going to write the great American novel, I took a holiday job in the packing and shipping department of an upscale company.

First the department got back up and my supervisor’s boss came in to put things right. We were soon backed up again. This time the VP came in to find out, “What do we have to do to get things caught up?” My boss looked at me. The VP looked at me. The next day I had a packing and shipping operation up and running.

What made my operation run so efficiently? I took advantage of my position as a supervisor to move up and down the line to bring the different stages of the operation into sync with the process. I could prepare product for packaging, I could box the product, and I could set up boxes for packing, and so on. Wherever my team needed help keeping up, I joined that stage of the process.

This is missing from the many admonitions to managers, young and old.

A good analogy for management would be to compare the experience of a substitute teacher to that of trying to herd cats. The fallacy of wisdom is that if you show up with a bag full of tuna sandwiches, the cats will embrace a common goal: tuna for lunch. Then reality strikes. One cat goes off in search of a jar of gherkins, another for a bag of chips, and another for a napkin. A smart boss knows that tuna fish sandwiches are not going to solve all the problems; and neither will a common goal. We may all agree on the destination, but we won’t all agree on the best route to get there.

Here is the conundrum: There may not be one right way or one best way. However, we do have to travel together—or not. These are the challenges. Different managers may have different views. Different team members may have different views; and, in addition, just as there may be no one right or wrong way to get to our destination, so there may not be one right or wrong way to manage. We cannot always have consensus either.

The biggest problem is the one size fits all philosophy of management instruction. Another, is the fact that employees come to the table with the notion that one style of management may be better than or worse than another style. (After all, how many employees attended the all-day seminar? How many employees have the three-fold brochure? They cannot be tricked or bullied into accepting a style of management that is not suitable. Suitable to whom? That is another question.

Today, management is being bullied into accepting one form of management as being superiour to another. Employees, team members, are convinced that one method of management is superiour to another. Imagine everyone’s surprise when the tables are turned.

Management has become a victim to trends in management. The latest trend will work if everyone on the team believes that he or she is benefiting from the latest, the newest, and the best that the consulting industry has to offer.

Dr. Henry Kissinger once said of fame, “You still bore people, but they think it’s their fault.”

Let’s not fall prey to the latest trend in management style and technique.

“Style never goes out of fashion, but fashion always goes out of style.”



For additional material, read Ceo the Executive, or The Executive’s New Clothes.


Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview