Why A Smart Management Approach Is Critical Not Optional

By | September 3, 2009

The conventional management paradigm based on command and control, manager knows best, and policing people to perform no longer works effectively. Why?

It was based on a psychological contract that was informed by the concepts of deference, loyalty and transactional pay for labour, all of which no longer work.

Deference comes from knowing your place within traditional hierarchical structures. As organisations becoming flatter authority comes from contribution and knowing stuff rather than from position and job title; respect has to be earned more than ever, it cannot be expected.

Loyalty is no longer generated as simply a function of time passing. As we all work increasingly in ‘temporary’ employment, the shift has moved to employability. Loyalty now works at the reciprocal level of the more employable someone is the more they are valued, so the more the employing organisation engages with them and vice versa. Loyalty is the by product of increased employability and engagement.

Because of needing every employee to give more than their time and labour, they need to think, suggest and contribute often outside of core working hours. Email and mobile technology has exacerbated this issue. Work cannot be as easily compartmentalised. The work life balance dichotomy is increasingly unachievable; implying life only happens outside of work and as work is encroaching more and more a real negative tension is created.

This creates is a new paradigm, one that creates a different and more sustainable psychological contract. Put simply it focuses on the manager as an enabler and coach rather than as a director and controller. By focusing on alignment around any job (both the manager and team member agreeing around the role requirements), and then building personal accountability for effectively discharging the roles’ objectives, real ownership is created.


This approach engenders a completely different relationship between anyone in a position of authority with their team.

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