Do you need to be managed?

These days it’s more productive to think of organizations as organisms. Managers become stewards of the living. Their role is to energize people, empower teams, foster continuous improvement, develop competence, leverage collective knowledge, coach workers, encourage collaboration, remove barriers to progress, and get rid of obsolete practices.

Living systems thrive on values that go far beyond the machine era’s dogged pursuit of efficiency through control. Living systems are networks. Optimal networks run on such values as respect for people, trust, continuous learning, transparency, openness, engagement, integrity, and meaning. ~ Jay Cross

Do we really need managers? Is management as we currently practise it out of date for the networked era?

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5 Responses to “Do you need to be managed?”

  1. Ralph Mercer

    Managers exercise the authority they are given, if they are not empowered to say yes they will exercise that authority and say no rather than ask up the chain.. Managers new role will shift from being the gatekeepers of the corporate knowledge to enablers of the practices and behaviours that benefit the corporate memory and build that knowledge from the bottom up, becoming the rewarders and stewarts of collaborative behavior.

    • Harold Jarche

      Hi Ralph! In the business world, I think we will see that managers who support the work being done will be kept on. The rest will have to find other work. I’m not sure if you watched the video I referenced in a world without bosses, but it shows this pretty clearly. I’m sure we’ll see more initiatives like this, as the pressures for organizations to perform increase.

  2. Matt Kinsella

    I think THE most important task for managers is recruiting and retaining the right people whilst keeping the wrong people out. The wrong people in a team can destroy it quite quickly and the right people with the right influences can achieve anything with only minimum input from a manager.

  3. Paul Angileri

    Thanks again for the post, Harold. The organization I am a part of uses a basic version of slide 9. I will have to share this with my team and get their thoughts.

  4. Heinrich Elsigan

    I totally agree with Matt, but sometimes a team is defined with the working ideology of the members. I worked in teams, who believed in ideology, that each member is most productive, when he comes at the same time and works all working days the same predefined working time.
    Others believe, that team members are more productive, when they wwork more on good days, and less on worse days.
    So sometimes it’s an ideologic problem, cause members are getting mad, when the rules of ideology got broken.