Archive for April, 2008

Managers, Smanagers…It’s Over

April 17th, 2008

Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith wrote a very interesting book entitled The End of Management. In this book, they assert that managers are the dinosaurs of our modern organizational ecology. They go on to assert that the “‘Age of Management’ is finally coming to a close.”  Their treatise is that “the need for overseers, surrogate parents, scolds, monitors, functionaries, disciplinarians, bureaucrats, and lone implementers is over. . . ”

End_of_management_cover_2If, by now, you managers are wondering what comes next, our authors assert that the new need, the true need in modern day business is for “visionaries, leaders, coordinator coaches, mentors, facilitators, and conflict resolvers.”

In a recent conversation with an “old school” manager/friend, I reached out to explain to him why he was alienating his subordinate.  I explained very carefully that management as a self-contained system fails to open the heart or free the spirit.  This approach has truly taken our organization to new heights.  Of course, one can only work within one’s comfort zones, and many managers, especially, old school managers, only know one approach, and that is, the industrial revolution way.

Let me suggest that you analyze the quality of the individuals with whom you work.  Then, step back and realize just how amazing those individuals are with “butterfly” qualities.

Do not penalize your charges because of your insecurities.  Build a team that “has your back” by empowering them to be all that they can be.

The revolution quoted by Cloke and Goldsmith is one of “turning the inflexible, autocratic, static, coercive bureaucracies into agile, evolving, democratic, collaborative, self-managing webs of association.”  From our perspective, the object is to allow those butterflies the freedom to fly.

How do you manage a butterfly?  Work together on the goals and then get out of its way.  Provide it with just the very basic, fundamental needs and goals of your organization, and then trust it, love it, empower it, and encourage it.

If I could possibly find one example that would clearly embrace our success as an organization, it is that of doing everything possible to kill “parent to child management.”  It is not enough to move into the 21st century with our thinking; it is most important to identify those individuals who get it and then give them the space “to do it.”

Are they traditional?  Do they do everything the way you were taught in the “dark ages of the industrialized style of management?”  Nope.  Will it drive you crazy when you look for them, and discover that they are not on the flower where you expected to find them?  Sometimes.  Will they accomplish more than you have ever dreamed if you treat them with dignity, respect, love and freedom?  Oh, yeah.

You see, it is not about control.  Control is only necessary for those who are not trustworthy.  Better than trying to control a non trustworthy individual, simply help them find work somewhere else.  If they don’t get the mission, don’t understand the philosophy, and don’t work to their capacity, they shouldn’t be there.

On the other hand, if they are loyal, trustworthy, committed, and caring, back off and allow them to soar, and you will never see results of the kind they that they will deliver to you or your organization.

If they look at it as a job, if they are only comfortable with myriad rules, time clocks and books of policies, they are stuck in the past.

Leadership means trust.

The End of Management, Kenneth Cloke & Joan Goldsmith


Do You Have The Guts?

April 4th, 2008

As very small children, the funniest jokes that kids can come up with always seem to be "poopy talk" jokes.  As we age, it is interesting that we remain shy about our natural functions.  In fact, some people are so shy that they would rather die than say, do, or even think about anything related to their colons. 

The E-mail that I received this week was a challenge to "Take the Test," and, although it was an advertisement, there were enough good points made in that E-mail that I decided to dedicate this week’s blog to Katie Couric.  In 2000, Katie submitted herself to a public colonoscopy on national television.  Why?  Because she had lost her husband at the relatively young age of 42 to colon cancer. 

After Katie’s big adventure, among the 400 gastroenterologists surveyed, the number of colonoscopies performed each month rose from an average of 15 before the Couric exam to 18.1 after.  It was so successful that it is still referred to as the Couric Effect.

As indicated in the correspondence, over 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer each year and at least 1/3 of them die.  Unlike ovarian and numerous other cancers, there are several screening tests available to determine the presence of colon cancer. 

At a meeting last year our Chief of Medicine stated that "There is no longer a reason why anyone should die from colon cancer."

Even though it was part of my suggested battery of tests the year before, my colonoscopy was completed a few months ago.  Except for the fact that I woke up with a few children’s tattoos on my body from our playful employees and a threat that there would be a video at 11, all went well. 

Okay, I will admit that the preparation for the test was somewhat of a drag, but it wasn’t as bad as being a long term patient.

The goal of their E-mail was for us to persuade everyone to use their diagnostics. The quoted website was: 

The goal of this blog is to get you to think about taking care of yourself.  It is to convince you to love yourself and your family enough to ensure that you all have a future.  It is to get you to be saved by having a colon test, some test, any test. 

If you’re still embarrassed by colon jokes, GET OVER IT.

It could truly be a matter of life or death.