The Three Tenets of Management
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have a friend who contends there is no real management going on in business
anymore. She argues people are just playing with numbers and not trying to
manage their way to success. To illustrate, I have another friend who is a
manager of a popular restaurant franchise. I asked him how he manages his
people. Interestingly, it is based on such things as sales volume, tips, and
satisfaction surveys, which play a major role. From this, a score is computed
and the waiters and waitresses are ranked accordingly. These scores ultimately
dictate who will be assigned the best serving rotations in the restaurant.
Other than this, he does little else in terms of managing his people, and it
appears that's how corporate likes it. Interestingly, he also commented to me
there was a lack of team spirit by his people; "Nobody watches the back of
another," he said with dismay.
"No small wonder," I thought to myself. True, the
mechanics of waiting on tables has long been established, but there is a
certain degree of finesse required to assure customer satisfaction, and that
includes having people work together.
Numbers are useful, but management requires certain people
skills in order to maximize work effort. We've always defined it as, "getting
people to do what you want, when you want it, and how you want it."
The three tenets of management have historically been:
discipline, organization, and accountability. Let's examine each individually:
* Discipline in itself implies standardization, building
things or performing services in a uniform manner, hopefully to a high degree
of craftsmanship. Communication and leadership skills are thereby required.
* Organization implies structure and the definition of Who,
is going to do What, When, Where, Why, and How. In other words, a definition
of the methodologies, techniques and tools to be used in the work effort.
* Accountability refers to assuming personal responsibility
for the execution of a given assignment.
All three tenets require a certain level of standardization
and enforcement. In fact, you cannot effectively implement any of these
without some form of uniformity and coercion. How a manager elects to
implement the three tenets ultimately defines the corporate culture and the
quality of products produced or services rendered.
The reality though is that the three tenets are considered
"not cool" by the freewheeling X-Y-Z Generations who adamantly resist
structure, control, and responsibility. To them, Discipline, Accountability,
and Organization is just that, DOA - Dead On Arrival. I recently read an
article by a management consultant who openly opposes the three tenets. He
fundamentally argues it is old and tired and should give way to new
techniques. Frankly, I see this as a reckless form of behavior. I would agree
that classic bureaucracies impede progress and should be flattened, but we
still need the three tenets if we want to produce quality products in a
uniform manner. In other words, his contention of throwing the baby out with
the bath water doesn't hold up with me. Instead, management needs to reexamine
the three tenets and the levels they want to conform to.
Instead of trying to take control of the work environment
and working with people, management seems more inclined to play with numbers
and just hire and fire people (or outsource them). It's no small wonder
workers feel blind sided when they get booted from their job.
Maybe my friend is right. Maybe there isn't any management
going on anymore; that managers are doing nothing more than just playing with
numbers. If she is correct, I'm reminded of the old expression, "Nobody's
driving officer, we're all in the back seat." Reckless, very reckless.
Let's hope my friend is wrong.
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their
Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of
M. Bryce & Associates
(MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the
management consulting field. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-08-24 11:09:27 in Business Articles