In yesterday’s Wall Street journal, Gary Hamel reveals “Management’s Dirty Little Secret,” that most of the actions a manager takes, even those in pursuit of an engaged workplace, are more likely toÂ stifleÂ enthusiasm than anything. He talks about the amazing new results of a survey to show this.
What this survey reveals is that Mr. Hamel (and, to be fair, most management experts) has never been a real employee. Everyone who has a boss knows that most of their job is to avoid the boss, avoid their wrath, avoid their eyeline, and even to avoid their interest. Most employees know that bosses are like Baby Huey, taking interest for the moment in something shiny (Ooo… an intranet! Ahh… we need a CRM system! Mmmm… Â personalized URLs!), turning it into a “PROJECT” that you are now responsible for (and all theÂ requisite administrative burdens therein regardless of intent or return), and wander away to the next shiny thing. Woe unto those who’s bosses are interested in what they are doing.
This, of course, discounts the idea that some employees need that kind of supervision to get things done. But most of the people I’ve ever met in the “creative class” (the survey indicates that as knowledge workers become commoditized, the real value is in those who can be creative in finding solutions) are self-starting, self-motivating people who want to do amazing work, but have to be overly concerned with the interference of their boss.
So maybe Mr. Hamel is just waking up to the fact that employees, the ones on the front lines talking to customers, the ones coming up with new products, or the ones actually doing the work are a valuable part of the process and should be treated as such. Praise onto thee, company who knows how to encourage and respect their employees!