Taking Care of Horses

The original meaning of the word “management” is taking care of horses.

I think some teams are like race horses, bred and nurtured to win the races. Maybe some teams are sturdy horses, pulling carts full of veggies, or tourists. And perhaps other teams are more like my little pony. Or pink fluffy unicorns.

The unmanaged self-organizing team would be like a wild horse. Of course, such teams exist. (We usually call them start-ups.) But they usually don’t exist as part of an organization. Hoping that such a team delivers results beneficial to the organization would be the same as sitting on a wild horse, slapping its behind, and saying “YEEHAAA!!” And then praying the horse will run in the right direction, and won’t throw you off…

Good management means grooming, brushing, feeding, saddling, leading, exercising, riding, rinsing, nurturing, and loving the horse. If you do this well, it could win a race for you. Or a beauty contest. Or a fight with an evil wizard.


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