Q: What’s the art of management?
It is the job of leaders to act on the system.
What it isn’t is delegating. And yet, that’s what they say is “the art of management“.
Bollocks is it. But also is what they do. If not to other people then to other parts of their decision making process. Now that Zombie Deming has kindly removed the top of this mans head, we can peer inside to take a look at the internal whirrings of his mind…..
“Aah that hurt a bit. Tch…that Zombie Deming is a one isn’t he? Now, where was I… Ah yes. I have a problem with the orders not being processed in time. I need to speak with Carol at our Performance Management meeting on Monday to see how …We need to see how much longer the order processing software will keep running before it breaks again, thats on the risk log so I’ll update that before the Risk Management meeting on Tuesday…the staff need training on how to enter orders onto the system correctly so they don’t block the craw and cause the system to crash again so I’ll have to arrange a Training Development Plan with Human Resources Management on Wednesday…there’s a Financial Management meeting on Thursday. I could find out then what the budget us for breakdown cover on the order system…and Friday is Strategic Management, so can’t talk about the order processing system not working and causing us to lose customers because that’s operational not Strategic…Hmm busy week.
Busy and yet…where was the managing?
Performance management, risk management, workforce management, financial management and strategic management. Attending to the work has been split up into different parts, with different days, different meetings, different specialist support officers and different reports.
Splitting it up has lost it. When you cut a cow in half, you’re not left with 2 smaller cows. You’ve got the makings of a nice dinner at best, but the cow has forever gone. Same with work. The poor man above lost his BWAINZ because he thought “improvement” through systems thinking could also be delegated. Can’t!
If managers or leaders are important, it’s because they have power. Power to stop things and power to start things. If they “start” a systems intervention off by delegating it to somebody else as just another part of work, then they don’t know it but they’ve also killed it stone dead.
If manager have to exist then they have to be raring to go at the heart of any unlearning/learning about work. Whoever leads a systems transformation is the real leader. So it’s best if there isn’t anybody above them that has power but isn’t leading, because they’ll use that power at some point and it will be like a toddler with an Uzi. Short, violent and BWAINLESS.