Some weeks ago Oscar Berg raised an interesting question on twitter. I can’t exactly remind his words but it was something like “what to think of a manager that fears social media, transparency, who’s afraid of seing his staff exchanging more easily without refering to him ?”.
One of my fellow-countrymen immediately answers : “it must be a french manager”.
In all seriousness I thought about it again and again and come to this conclusion : “Nothing. And there’s not reason to blame him”.
Let me elaborate.
People are what they are and we can’t blame them if they reach a management position for the reason that, most of times, they have nothing to do with it. They can neither be blamed for working for an organization that does not help them to embrace this new dimension of their job.
On the other hand we can wonder what at the HR methods for evaluation, promotion, training that allow such situations to happen. Many organizations know they have to think about new ways to create values and implement them in day-to-day operations but if the internal mechanics is not aligned the risk of wasting a lot of energy going nowhere is obvious. Managers are often blamed for internat dysfunctionning but they are seldom responsible for the system that set them there and that they must obey.
But things are not that simple. While many people were agreeing with me, Oscar told me that he this very “automated and unpersonal way” of promoting people was not what he was used to in Sweden (but that he experienced it with some French companies in the past). This was an undisputable evidence of the difference between scandinavian and french models, one being more consensual and the other mor mechanical, one beeing more about about and the other about systems that govern people.
Let’s even go one step further. While we’re stepping into knowledge economy (or service econonmy or even service innovation economy), where mobilising, developping and harnessing knowledge and expertises is more essentiel than ever, while HR people are aware of it, businesses are facing a dangerous paradox
– one can’t built his career on expertise : even the best expert can’t make is way in the organization without climbing the hierarchical ladder and taking management positions.
– doing so he loses his specific expertise and knowledge while improving his management skills
– the paradox of this system is that it’s designed to kill knowledge and expertise to turn it into control skills. Exactly the opposite of what organizations need today.
– last but not least : the best expert in any field won’t necessary be a good manager (and in some cases in doesn not want to reach such a position but it’s the only way to progress and be recognized). On the other hand there are people who are not the best at any operational thing but have this “little thing” that makes all the people around them do a better job. But these last ones seldom meet the requirements that would allow them to manage a team.
I don’t know if HR have to be in charge of enterprise 2.0 projects, if they have to lead the project alone or share the leadership. But what I’m sure of is that they are responsible for putting the right people are the right place, develop expertises and help managers to develop management and leadership skills that fit today’s needs and context.
Designing the best systems and procedures is one thing….but running them successfully will always depend on people.
Ã©valuation, capital organisationnel, carriÃ¨re, Entreprise 2.0, leadership, Management, management 2.0, Ressources Humaines, ressources humaines 2.0