Quickie: Management Priorities
As a manager, what’s more important to you? The nature of your present role, or the success of the company?
Put another way: If the ongoing success of the company required your role to change, would you support or resist that change? Can you even talk franklly about the issue?
I honestly hope that the success of my company is a part of the nature of my role as a manager (it would be a problem to me otherwise). Supporting or resisting the change of my role would depend on several factors, but basically on how it fits my own ideas about it, ethics involved, people welfare impact, etc. 🙂
Thanks for responding. Do you have evidence, one way or the other, as well as hope? BTW Did you read Prof. Hamel’s Humanocracy yet?
Fair point 🙂
On one hand, I have been officially working as a “manager” only for a few months, so it didn’t happen to me yet that kind of situation.
On the other hand, my current manager is also a friend of mine with whom I openly talk about everything, including my ethics concerns about the company and my clear red lines (and he gives me tones of trust and freedom).
Not as a “manager”, but I have been in the industry for 22 years and in case of “conflict”, I have always prioritized my ethics and welfare (mental and physical) and that of the people around me over the company interests (e.g. continuous overwork, verbal aggressions, pressures, etc.). I always had a “rebel” side and the current “supply and demand” in the industry helps me to stay more and more aligned with my inner compass.
If the change required in my role because of the company’s success didn’t go against my ethics or welfare, then my reaction would depend on how far that change puts me from my main motivators or how I think things “should” work 🙂
Not sure if I answered your question, please tell me otherwise 🙂
I haven’t read “Humanocracy” yet: I just took a quick look and it looks promising, thanks for the hint! 🙂
Have you and your current manager/friend discussed the very concept of “management” and it’s applicability to CKW (Collaborative Knowledge Work)? You might find my book “Memeology” supportive in such conversations.
Short answer: yes. Long answer: I would require too much energy to write everything down here (I just went through a shoulder surgery 🙂 ).
I will try to summarize my vision about “management” (simplifying a lot):
1. As a manager at my current company (50% technically hands-on I must say), one of my main goals (openly shared) is to become so “unnecessary” as possible (not “useless” but “unnecessary”). I continuously optimize/encourage for the collective ownership of “almost everything” (e.g. most things rotate – sometimes explicitly, sometimes in a “natural” way- except what is totally enforced by the company, which is not much). Among other things, we work in pairing/ensemble most o the day, no fixed person attends “external sessions/meetings”, we have a public Slack channel as the point of contact with the team, no fixed person facilitates whatever is needed, etc.
2. I’ve been lucky enough to experience what it looks like to work within a team really flat and with no labels: no “manager”, no “lead”, no “junior/senior”, and no “architect/QA/PM/whatever”. No silos. I experienced it for 2 full years. Not an easy situation to arrive (it would be too long and exhausting right now to share everything I consider necessary for such a social system, sorry). We decided how to make decisions and we were given even the opportunity to decide how to handle the salaries, etc. And that’s exactly my idea about the “optimal” way to work and the direction to move. We gave a talk some years ago about all this (which sounds like science-fiction or a utopia for most people – or even a dystopia for some others).
I have your books on my “wishlist”, I’m looking forward to reading them eventually, I’m sure I would learn and reflect from them, thanks!!