Not That Easy

Not That Easy [via Ton] In this [Steven Covey] interview he declared management of people superfluous. One manages money, stocks, portfolios, and the like, not people. Give people purpose and a course, and then stop interfering with them. The interview ended with this quote [emphasis Ton’s]:

In most organisations there is a lack of trust, and most employees are powerless. In this era of knowledge-workers we still use the industrial model of control, in which we treat people like objects. It is as if we are still practising bloodletting, although we know all about bacteria and how they work. [End]

Sorry, but that stuff needs prefacing with “in an ideal world”. My emphasis is the word “then” in the first paragraph. “Giving” people a purpose or cause ain’t that easy, and expecting any group to share the same goal and purpose as individuals is wishful thinking. In reality what this is saying is that managing “intent” is what really matters, and having to apply “control” is a sign that intent is not managed within business bounds. Of course, this idea of within bounds implies measurement and is the root of the destructive re-inforcement of the old command and control metaphor of management.

Manage what you can’t measure. Neat trick if you can do it.

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