I’ve been complaining about management 1.0, a style of management that we still see all around us. It assumes that an organization can be managed like a machine, and that its people are interchangeable parts.
But what exactly is management 2.0?
In a management 2.0 organization the managers recognize that “people are their most valuable assets” and all managers have to become “servant leaders” while steering the organization from “good to great”.
They have some good ideas, but they’re using the wrong approach.
The idea behind one-on-ones is not bad. I’m actually in favor of it. It acknowledges that people are the most important parts of the system, and management must find ways in which they can help people find their true calling and achieve great results together.
Unfortunately… many managers don’t realize they should manage the system, not the people. They use one-on-ones for individual goal-setting, and they follow-up later asking for status updates. They don’t understand that, in a complex system, this micro-management should be delegated to team.
360 Degree Evaluations
The idea behind 360 degree performance feedback is also quite good. The issue is that managers are not independent observers. They cannot objectively assess the performance of individual people, and therefore they should retrieve input from various sources.
Unfortunately… some people don’t understand that the method they use to evaluate performance will influence performance. And so they install 360 degree tools that ask people to give anonymous feedback about each other. Trust breaks down because the wrong metrics destroy good behaviors.
There’s also nothing wrong with the idea behind balanced scorecards. The problem with measurements is that one metric will lead to sub-optimization, and therefore you need multiple metrics to have a holistic view of the organization. It is useful to have multiple perspectives on complex problems.
Unfortunately… managers see the organization as a collection of parts. They try to optimize departments. But in a complex system the performance is in the relationships between the parts. And thus you need metrics that cover perspectives of multiple stakeholders, or “measure from-the-outside-in”.
And so on…
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Let’s try and see it from the positive side. Management 2.0 organizations are at least trying to do the right thing. But they do it in the wrong way. They’re stuck with the machine metaphor for organizations, while at the same time they want to improve. And so they adopt good ideas and force-fit them onto their bad architecture. They are typically the organizations that create plans for “implementing Agile”.
The good part is, with these organizations awareness and desire are already covered. They just need help with knowledge and ability.