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This is my personal blog which I began in February 2001. I called it The Obvious? when I wrote anonymously and chose the name to reflect the fact I have to overcome my inhibitions about stating the obvious!

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Liberating Management

I just came up with this as possible title for an event I am doing next year but it occurred to me that it is very much what I aspire to do.

I know I may sometimes come across as "anti" management but I am not - I am just against the debilitating and innefective ways we have expected managers to work. I was one for many years and I know what it is like!

The play on the word "liberating" is deliberate. Not only do we have the potential to free our managers from a lot of the crud we currently bury them under but it is also personally liberating for them to have a whole new way of dealing with the pressures of getting things done.

Reader Comments (6)

Hi Euan, what role do you see managers having in a liberated world?

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCormac Heron

Like so many others being disintermediated by the technology - moving from gatekeeper to enabler. The good ones do this anyway but the general mindset is still a long way away.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEuan

Hi Euan,

You should check out the 5 or 6 decades of work that Elliot Jaques did about dysfunctional management in organisations.

He found that most of us are in hierarchies where we are either in over our heads (and flailing around, or failing) or in under our heads (under-challenged and cramped).

Though you might hate Jaques, as he sees hierarchy as inevitable - just not any old hierarchy, but hopefully a healthy 'requisite' hierarchy!

Even if you don't agree with him, it might hone your thinking on the pros and cons of hierarchies and how managers should relate to them.

Jaques was also the guy who came up with the idea of the 'mid-life crisis', apparently...


October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Mezey

Jacques' work is indeed interesting.

That said, there's a fundamental premise to his ideology that involves time span of decision-making in the sense of individual and positional ability / responsibility to look forward (and the assumptions we use about stability and replicability in looking forward). That specific time-span orientation towards decision-making, and thus healthy hierarchy, may be a premise that bears some re-examination given what ongoing flows of information do to our sense and experience of time, how hierarchs typically make and communicate decisions, and the interplay of those two factors with what we are coming to define as response and results.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon H.

Like so many others being disintermediated by the technology - moving from gatekeeper to enabler.

I was just talking about this the other day .. how our work lives and professions are becoming or may become disintermediated as well.

Small pieces, loosely joined .. all the way down.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon H.

Thanks for the tip and background to Jaques guys .. and I'll ignore that comment about mid-life crisis Matthew! ;-)

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEuan

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