Lost in management 2: The failure of managerial thinking
Lack of autonomy, unhappiness, and general disengagement and frustration: these are the terrible hidden costs that have resulted for decades from the Taylorism theory of management. After studying the daily life of companies in the 21st century, François Dupuy candidly addresses the origins of lack of wellbeing in the workplace. It’s time to understand what is really going on in our companies. Excerpt from the latest issue of Business Digest:
1. Understanding the problem behind the symptoms. “A symptom is only information, no more than information and even misunderstood information (…) The problem, in turn, is all the interrelationships that cause the symptom. For example, if a salesperson flees a customer, it is perhaps because he or she does not have the flexibility to appease the customer. Understanding the problem is about moving to a systemic, more complex but so much more fruitful understanding!”
2. Reason with the ends AND the means. Ambitious goals, milestones, and evaluation criteria are the ingredients of a classic action plan. But teams will go nowhere if they do not see the concrete ways to achieve the objectives. While the “how” and the systematic approach that it implies require much more effort and thought than the “what” or the “why,” they are still a prerequisite for the establishment of a strategy of what is “possible” and not just what is “desirable.”
3. Do not delegate implementation. Many people blindly trust the leadership of those who bear the delicate task of enforcing decisions, regardless of the complexity of the context in which they operate. Yet designated messengers, exhausted by political games not entirely under their control, are often tempted to ignore the risks that arise along the way or even to adopt a “watermelon strategy” — where indicators are nice and green on the outside but red on the inside.
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Based on Lost in Management 2 : la faillite de la pensée managériale de François Dupuy (Éditions du Seuil, janvier 2015).