I just read an article on BNET, an online resource like the Free Management Library–no disrespect intended to FML, nor am I promoting BNET. I get my inspiration from all over. The article was titled the The 5 Dumbest Management Concepts of All Time.
The author says, “These five commonly-held management concepts are responsible for most of the bad management practices around the world.”
The rest of the article is an invective of management practices: downsizing, leadership, human resources, empowerment, and business warfare. Although I disagreed with the style of the author in writing this diatribe, I found an opportunity to look at business to see where some people could be coming from. The article had many applauding his case, but I think these people had been there personally and it affected their judgment. I’m smiling, but it happens to us all.
Those of us in training have the opportunity to see what may be wrong in the corporate culture and help employees, managers, and leaders alike improve their lot, while also helping the company and work toward changing the corporate culture.
Personally, I find invective to describe organizational failings hardly funny. I’d rather think about solutions.
It’s not the fault of individuals but an entire culture based on money and success based on who has more of it. This is obviously a piece about the author and other people who have had unhappy careers in business. The author made his point, but there are exceptions to every rule.
I’ve had people I was proud to work for and with, had personnel that really tried to help with my career plans, and had a boss who helped me achieve my goals even though it meant losing a “resource”–me. I don’t think this article is really about bad management concepts, but rather the corporate culture that made these Frankenstein creations, caring more about the bottom line and people are indeed just a resource, and not people.
As trainers, it is our duty and obligation to see to it everyone is served with what they need to succeed. Do that and all is great for the company, and hopefully consumer who is also well served.
Take these “bad” management concepts and look at them for a training solution:
Downsizing? Re-training for another job–even if it’s outside the company shows the company cares. A re-hiring of this person at a later date may be possible and he will have new skills the company may be able to use. And this person is probably not going to bad-mouth the company because he was downsized.
Leadership? If providing leadership training falls on deaf ears, perhaps, training means educating boards of directors about the corporate pitfalls and leadership monitoring.
Human Resources? HR personnel can be trained to be customer service friendly, to actually work for employees, rather than the company. I have seen it and seen it be a great retention factor. Helping someone direct their career within the company means the best use of that individual, not so much training in the traditional sense but certainly apart of it.
Empowerment? The biggest problem is not training people to empower themselves but to train others to allow it and use these empowered individuals to the company’s advantage. One empowered and enthusiastic employee is a team player and one less employee to watch closely.
Business warfare? That one I think just happens, but if we train our leaders right, concentrate on character, vision and those other traits that make company leaders great and companies thrive, who knows? It’s hard to do battle with a healthy, successful company. Business warfare will be a thing of the past.
Take care of people as you take care of yourself, and some people will do anything for you and the company, often for nothing.
If the corporate culture is flawed and I’m sure it is, we can still do our part cut down on the negatives, ensure the company’s most important resource is able to serve the company, and take an active part in molding that culture.
We all have our jobs to do. You can’t be unhappy with yourself if you’ve done your best. Complaining doesn’t solve anything, but people who look for ways to achieve positive change are heroes to the company. Unsung maybe, but I can live with that. Can you?
Happy training from the Passionate Communicator at Acting Smarts. Know your audience, know your subject and know yourself, and you’ll have the success only you can make as an excellent communicator (and trainer).
For more resources about training, see the Training library.