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What is the point of management?

In How to work better on July 24, 2008 by Alan Lovell Tagged:

Do you often wonder, when sitting though the latest interminable meeting, just what the point of management (and managers) is? Here’s a nice definition in two sentences from Paul Levy’s blog (though it comes from a colleague of his, Stuart Rosenberg):

“The only role of management is to create an environment where people left to their own devices and unsupervised are most likely to engage in behavior that advances the goals of the organization. That means that people have the training, equipment, space, motivation, pay, understanding of expectations, sense of fulfillment and joy, and all the other things that will ensure that their behavior, the only thing that counts, is what we desire for the organization.”

One of the comments to the blog is even shorter and to the point, in describing what Robert Townsend thought his main (senior) managerial role was the comment author paraphrases “…his main job was to get people what they needed, carry water for them, and get out of the way.”

Marvellous. If only. (Though I should point out that my management is, of course, exemplary.)

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One Response to “What is the point of management?”

  1. Agreed! On my travels in Ambleside (a cute town in the Lake District), I saw a blackboard with the following ‘thought of the day’:

    “One manages things, not people. People in charge need to provide leadership, not management”.

    That is a bit of a clunky paraphrasing, but a nice idea, anyway.

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