Article précédentlinks for 2007-01-04
Article suivantlinks for 2007-01-05

Do managers have to spend all their time managing interactions ?

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images-1.jpegIndeed another way to ask this question would be : “must people be given tools to organize themselves their interactions or is it the manager’s job to control everything”.

In fact you can see both situations in organizations. In some you’ll have few control, tools like wikis or blogs that allow people to communicate and organize themselves in communities of practices, a management based on self responsability, collective intelligence, flexibility, innovation… In others you’ll have…exactly the opposite, that’s to say very directive management, no autonomy (that’s to say no faith in people), strict procedures and now way to communicate and exchange freely.

In both ways the organization is the result of what’s thought being best for performance. So I’m asking what is the role of a manager : develop business, develop people, or mainely manage relations between people. Mainly ? Yes, because if you’re strict on people’s autonomy, you’ll need to hire more and more managers, not to think about business but juste to manage interpersonal relations.

For example adding a fifth person to a four people team increases the relations to be managed by 127%. A 12 people team implies 24 708 relations. If you don’t give them autonomy you’ll have to hire people to manager those 24 708 relations. Good luck. And I don’t talk about economic efficiency : hiring people with manager’s salaries to focus on a bureaucratic process….

For example Google chose to lower control on everyday’s tasks, let people organize themselves and provides them with the tools that allows that (such as blogs and wikis). We all know how efficient is their management, don’t we ?

Controling everything may be reassuring. But when you really mesure what it implies in terms of ressources you really have good reasons to change your mind.

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Head of Employee and Client Experience @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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