Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Management Style

During the evolution of my career, I have seen the continuous corrosion of employee/management trust. This lack of trust peaked with egregious top management wealth resulting in the current corporate corruption fallout. Now everyone is paying a high price with record unemployment.

The next Jim Collins or Stephen Covey will be the genius who, like them, can come up with an innovative "corporate management style "du jour" or as I like to call it "de l'année", because the corporate process takes years to implement, if they ever implement at all.

In order to receive a doctorate degree, usually one must write a book on management. Here's my doctoral hypothesis, based on my area of expertise – marketing and operations.
- Operations is not Marketing
- Marketing is not Sales
- Sales is not Advertising

You can apply transitive relationships to this hypothesis. The current economic climate is exacerbating the blurring, of not only these terms, but their functions. Corporations are attempting to hire candidates with any combination of these skill sets (and sometimes one who possesses all of them). Their goal is to save precious payroll expenses. They do not understand these competencies are wholly segregate functional areas, requiring discriminate expertise.

A close friend of mine calls today's management style, "mushroom management." He is referring to their managing in the dark. Top tier managers are so far removed from the line personnel, they have lost focus on who signs their paychecks. I believe this same loss of contact refers to the customer. I have another connotation for "mushroom management", top heavy. There are too many executives at the top, drawing big salaries, again without regard to who actually signs their paychecks, be it employees or customers.

There are some great successful business methodologies that came from W. Edward Demming, Jack Welch, and my favorite, Peter Drucker. Where did we lose touch and where are the business pioneers today?