Lets Fire All the Managers
Already title is caching our attention : “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers”. Intriguing start changes in the list of charges against the modern management system. The author is showing his critic for complicated system, where we have hundreds of managers in various level.
He lists three main problems. As first is the costs of management which is very expensive. At second he shows that typical management hierarchy increases the risk of “calamitous” decisions with bad judgment. And as third multitiered management structure systematically disempowers lower-level employees.
For all this three he is giving examples to make sure that readers will understand the problem. After that there is a lot of information about how this system is working and how the place of work is organized. So now we have question. Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve high levels of coordination without a supervisory superstructure? To confirm theory author is giving very strong arguments by describing new management model called self-management which is in use at American company Morning Star.
There are no employees, there are only “colleagues” which are taking personal responsibility for what they have done. And each person is at the same level. So if there is any problem other colleagues going to help to resolve it. There are no managers all the decision are made in the group of employees : “Around here, nobody’s your boss and everybody’s your boss. ” To be sure that each employee now what he is doing and what kind of opportunities standing in front of him there are management courses , seminars which provide necessary information.
As author is showing company have got only great achievement and there is only few small disadvantages. He is giving very strong arguments about almost “utopia” organization where everybody are happy. Everything sounds perfect but is it real? Using the Google’s I found Morning Star company. “One of the best, world’s leading tomato ingredient processor”. And as author shows, they have got self-management system in use. As a founders of the new system they create website “Self-management Institute” which provide all necessary information about new system .
Self-Management is an organizational model where functions of a manager (planning, coordinating, controlling, staffing and directing) are pushed out to all participants in the organization as opposed to a select few. From that website we can read the main issue of new system, which is: self-directed work teams, employee empowerment, distributed decision making, “flattening” the organization, elimination of bureaucratic red tape . All of that is already successfully working in Morning Star company. To be sure author of article Gary Hamel , decide to check on his own that system.
What he saw was very fast developing company where without even one manager, people working very efficiently. And the most important is that they know what they doing and feel responsible for that. They are more loyal and are better judgment because they are not lack of context and understand the facts from the ground. System, called pancake-flat, is not complicated, because there are no bosses. But who is making the big decisions? Giving power to everybody is scary, danger, for sure there must be someone responsible more than others. Summary.
How can a big company survive without structure? For company like Morning Star where from the beginning the main system was self-management and all the structure was already prepared system was easy to absorb. In my opinion it would be difficult to put that system in mega companies with 100,000 employees. It would look like a loud school class with pupils, when teacher left for a moment and everybody doing what they want even when they were said to read book . That is why in big companies there always must be someone who is going to manage a group.
It is almost impossible that 100,000 employees will work efficiently without manager. Self-Management gives a great deal of freedom to colleagues; isn’t that dangerous? Freedom must be balanced with responsibility in any organization. Ofcourse employees need to feel free when they working no one like big pressure and stress on top of work. But if we going to say “Feel free”, probably their going to put their own targets first. If we gonna left them on their own, we will never be sure if they doing what they where asked for and don’t waste our time and money.
The company creates an environment where people can manage themselves by making the main mission the boss and truly empowering people. Where everybody are on the same level, and every one are bosses. It is sounds like “One for all and all for one”. For sure one thing is good in system like that. It is much cheaper without managers which have to be paid bigger salary. Reading this article I started to thing that that was the main problem. And thet is why new system was invented. To save the money. In my point of viewself-management system is very intresting and very innovative.
By the example of Morning Star company I can assume that it can work. Author is sure that is possible to improve this system in much bigger companies. And with that I can not agree. It can not work everywhere and with every person. It always depends on the place (where company is), kind of company, (it worked in a simple agricultural organization doesn’t mean it is gonna work at New York) and employees characters (there is always leading person and someone who only want to do his job) . References: Books: 1.
Nic Peeling, Brilliant Manager, (2010), What the best managers know, do and say, 3rd edition, Great Britain, Harlow: Pearson 2. Richard Templar, (2011), The rules of Management, second edition, Great Britain: Pearson 3. Scott Adams, (1996), Dogbert’s Top secret Management Handbook, New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc. Websides: 1. Self management Institute, http://self-managementinstitute. org 2. Morning Star, http://www. morningstarco. com, (accessed on 11/12/11) Article which I used: Gary Hamel, (2011) First, Let’s Fire All the Managers, http://hbr. org/2011/12/first-lets-fire-all-the-managers/ar/1, (accessed on 06/12/11)