I am a big proponent of effective management. Whether it be in your daily life, work or even relationships, effective management of any area will increase a person’s productivity and make them happier. At least that is how the theory goes. In most practical cases however, we have a tendency of becoming complacent and putting off for the future what could’ve been accomplished today. Its not our fault, i hear its something we get through genetics. A kind of self-serving mechanism developed over centuries of evolution arising from the flight or flee response. Some amongst us stay and fight, become revered in society and history while others flee to protect themselves or maybe to fight another day.
In his latest book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker, David Maister writes that just by knowing what is good for you or bad for you will not help people choose the better path. If that was so, he argues, everyone would be exercising and not indulging in the habits of smoking or drinking. After all, everyone knows that is the path to a healthy and better life. Humans are inherently self serving and looking out for number one, i.e. themselves. And they are not rational creatures, but creatures of emotion. At most, they create circles around themselves and include people whose needs they might also serve, but for many, that circle includes only one. When thinking about management, especially management of people, this is one of the basic truths or facts of life one must embrace if they want any chance at moving forward.
People management has always been a very interesting subject for experts around the world. They recognize the need for having a structured environment for people to work in, to have a schedule of tasks to complete and a clear and concise goal to achieve. The funny thing is, most people who have to be managed also recognize this need. Yet, often quite a big disconnect keeps on appearing in organizations around the country (and the world) and a lot of productivity (read: money) is lost in the process. In order to bridge this disconnect, we increasing find the need to satisfy a employee’s personal needs and align them to the company’s need in order for the big money to start rolling in.
So how do we bridge this gap? Any idea’s?