I heard Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, talk Tuesday night and had a chance to speak with him for a while. Cool guy, and really smart! I did a review of his book here and on the 1800CEOREAD blog here. I highly recommend the book. Even though I read the book, the message I at Dan’s talk that I had not yet embraced (I’m sometimes thick) is the importance of design. I’ve heard it everywhere, so it’s not a new concept, but I had not thought of it from my own perspective – like how my products and services should be designed.
I think I need to learn more about design…
Anyway, on a different, but still Pink topic, I found this on Dan Pink’s blog:
“Management by leaving people alone
I just heard about a fascinating new paper by the well-known German economist (well-known for German economists, that is) Armin Frank. In a recent study Frank found that the worst way to induce excellent performance in employees was to supervise them. The more supervision a boss slathered on, the more the employee felt distrusted–and the greater distrust the employee felt, the deeper his performance fell. Supervision, in other words, achieves the exact opposite of its desired effect: It often reduces motivation and efficiency. As Frank explains, “Anyone who is suspicious of the willingness to work of their employees is in fact punished by poor work levels; whoever is optimistic and gives them free rein is rewarded.”
Posted on 04/19.”
Here’s the link to the piece he references.
Bad management is worse than no management in most cases, I think. We should keep this in mind as we develop our teams and make hiring decisions. Promoting that mediocre manager may not be the better choice versus leaving a position open for a while. And it is clear to me that when we “manage people,” as in micromanagement or parental management, that they are hearing “I don’t trust you,” even if that is not our intent (it probably is our belief at some level though, and this is the problem).
What do you think? I know some of you are proud micromanagers out there – what’s your view?