Good stuff on dealing with a bad manager. Bad managers is probably a topic that we could spend a lot of time on and our Bad Managers Suck series could probably go on for a very, very long time. I think that a big part of the reason that things like The Office and Dilbert resonate with so many folks is that as ridiculous as they often are, they are also hit very close to home especially regarding our relationship with supervisors. There are a lot of things that contribute to bad management and we could spend a lot of time and energy cracking that issue open, but what about this…
Why don’t we just get rid of it? Why don’t we do away with management as a title, as a role, as a philosophy, as a source of so much unnecessary drama? In our manifesto we tell leaders to “get out of the way”…maybe they should really get out of the way?
What would happen if did some real “re-engineering” and let all managers go? We could of course allow them to apply for other open positions within the company, we’re not complete a-holes! Would things grind to a halt? I kind of doubt it. I am sure that there would be some initial confusion, but there would also be a lot less management related dysfunction.
What would a world without management look like?
What if “the organization” became a network of self-organized teams?
What if we went to an organization and took everyone that was in a supervisory role and we changed their role from supervision to resource coordination…they would have no authority over anyone but were responsible for helping the team that they were assigned to coordinate with other teams and access to the tools that they needed to be successful…whether it be budget, training, equipment, policy change, etc. Their purpose was solely to coordinate and make available resources and support for the department or team that they were assigned to.
What about, rather than fixing management, we do away with it?
I am extremely glad to be seeing this kind of discourse.
I think certain people would emerge as those others looked to and relied upon to lead and to organise. A job title might then be thought up for them – maybe 'manager'. But those who previously had that title but who did not lead or organise would no longer be holding the title. So I think you're both right and wrong. We don't need to do away with managers, just make sure we have good ones.
That picture is priceless.
As always, you ask big thoughtful questions worthy of pondering. I think humans may be hard-wired to devolve into management structures, but the idea of doing away with management structures intrigues me.