Greenfield
Factory Automation
Bassett
Batch Processing
Hand
Process Automation
Reynolds
Packaging Automation
Campbell
On the Edge
Factory & Machine Automation Playbook cover
This one-of-a-kind Factory Automation Playbook is packed with best practices, practical tips and pitfalls to avoid on a wide range of topics, from defining project objectives to selecting components to implementing technologies that can make your automated systems smarter and more productive.

 

Column:
Pinto's Prose
|

New Management Paradigms

Print Reprint
     

Managing change does not mean controlling it, but rather understanding it, being more sensitive and flexible, and guiding it as much as possible.

Technology now makes people significantly more effective by providing tools for communications and collaboration. People can work well together without much face-to-face interaction or discussions. Asynchronous e-mail provides improved thinking styles—deliberate instead of spontaneous, with automatic documentation of discussion threads.

The rise of social networks gives everyone the ability to collaborate easily both inside, and outside, the company. They encourage employees to work together, without close supervision. Facebook- and Twitter-style networking and company-sponsored blogs link employees in all geographical locations, developing close-knit communications and employee camaraderie.

ADVERTISEMENT

William H. Whyte’s 1956 classic, “The Organization Man” defined past generations of management as shifting from individual initiative to organizations in lock step, and this remains culturally deeply embedded. By contrast, management guru Peter Drucker was prescient with his view of the corporation as a human community built on trust and respect for workers. Indeed, now there is widespread recognition that collaborative management is the new paradigm, providing vastly better results.

Considering these shifts, here is my list of the top-10 management mistakes being perpetuated by entrenched old paradigms:

1. Withholding management information: Sure, some information is company confidential, but share what you know—quickly. Everyone needs to know what’s happening. Social networks and blogs typically leak news that may be “officially” announced weeks and even months later.

2. Top-down decision-making: Don’t creating hierarchical permission-steps. Enabling people to make decisions about their own work is the heart of the new paradigm.

3. Inflexible policies: No one is pleased when told, “It’s company policy.” Search for reasonable solutions to specific needs; remain flexible with employees, suppliers and customers.

4. Failure to collaborate: Ask for opinions, ideas, and improvement suggestions; empower implementation. Active programs must engage every employee.

5. Dodging blame: Accepting responsibility for mistakes and failures is part of being in charge. It generates respect.

6. Avoiding face-to-face communication: Know when text, email, or voice mails are not appropriate ways to handle a situation. Face-to-face discussion is always preferable for delicate situations.

7. Resisting change: In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it’s crucial to be open to change. Be flexible about accepting ideas and trying new ways.

8. Not prioritizing properly:  If every task is a priority, there are no priorities. You need to achieve an appropriate balance that allows you to lead employees and provide direction without destroying empowerment.

9. Micromanagement: Organization-driven managers become frustrated and begin to rely on micro-management to get employees to work harder. Lack of trust is very damaging.

10. Misunderstanding motivation: Know what truly motivates each individual. This may be greater work/life balance, flexible working hours, sense of achievement, responsibility, praise or being part of a team.

In the past, leaders used corporate-mandated ground rules to get results; a sensitive leader used to be regarded as a weak leader. Today’s best leaders show that sensitivity is the path to building a strong, adaptive organization. Good leadership shifts from mere accommodation of differences to recognition and empowerment of individual strengths.

The word “boss” is archaic, a relic of obsolete management paradigms. Today’s success comes through empowering others to perform.

>> Jim Pinto is a technology futurist, international speaker and automation industry commentator. You can email him at [email protected] or review his prognostications and predictions on his website: www.jimpinto.com.

1

Comments

Hey Jim, Great article. We all know the "meaning" can get confused in written communications, which just increases the importance of choosing the most appropriate method of communication at all times. Having options like text and video chat seamlessly integrated into your workflow can significantly help collaboration and productivity. However as social/collaborative technology solutions become more and more embedded in our organisations, I strongly agree that maintaining face to face communications where possible is so important. -- Ben Widdowson http://www.sabisu.co

Add new comment

Newsletters

Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.
The best of the essentials!
Secrets to Automation Project Success

Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this FREE Automation Project Survival Guide. It’s packed with field-tested best practices from industry experts that can help make your next automation project a success.

x