Paradox of Modern Management (E)
The modern management is full of paradoxes. On the one side they proclaim lean principles, simplicity and efficiency, but often they do opposite in reality. Why is this happening?
Posted: Nov 2012
The modern management in business is often in contradiction in its own principles. One of the main principles of the profit oriented companies is the expansion of sales, market share, revenue and profit. On the other side modern companies declare principles of efficiency, organizational simplicity, lean resource management and cost efficiency.
But in reality companies often act contradictory to the principles of lean, simplicity and efficiency. Administration, bureaucracy, bulky reporting and parallel "development" structures are draining the net productivity of the company. Resources of the company are being spent on countless reports, analysis and investigation of trivial things.
Engagement survey is typical abomination of modern management. According to the philosophy of engagement, the employee is not expected just to complete his tasks, but he/she must also show enthusiasm, positive attitude in every situation ( even when his/her contract is soon to be terminated ), satisfaction to whatever is around his/her work place, show happiness at work and express utmost love to the employee. The Survey itself is scanning the "happiness of employees". Once "lack" of engagement is detected, the action measures starts. Trainings, team buildings, meetings, additional surveys etc. All this requires considerable amount of productive capacity waste, just with the purpose to show few reports at the board of directors, who do not like to look employees in their eyes, but to see them spread all over charts.
Another management paradox is the outsourcing. The outsourcing itself has many benefits through transferring secondary activities to third party companies, while leaving main activities, like strategy management, research and development and commercial activities within the company. But the outsourcing activity seems to lose the edge sometimes. Once the management feels the lust of benefits from outsourcing, they decide to extensively reduce headcount and transfer as much activities as possible to third parties. The problem occurs when company outsource the activity that cannot be done in a quality manner by 3PL. While simple tasks, like in warehouse or distribution, can bring benefits, the outsourcing of complex tasks can be harmful for the company. Complex analysis, planning or reporting are difficult for to be done externally due to their complexity and lack of 3PLs understanding of complex relationships. Paradox lies in the fact that companies try to outsource just about anything, even if it is more costly and less effective, just for the sake of complying with global outsourcing trends.
Unimaginable complexity to the companies is brought by some Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. Some of these ERPs tend to be extremely complex, expensive and horrifically demanding for maintenance. The SAP is the global leader in the ERP systems field, but the system itself grew extremely large, complex, non user friendly and terribly mystified by crooked and meaningful acronyms. What happened to simplicity, transparency and user friendliness?
So, where the modern management is heading too? Why it is so difficult to fight to these situations? Why the management adore 3PL surveys and reports about their employees, instead of speaking to them. The answers to these questions may remain unanswered. But at least we can show that we are not compliant corporative zombies that execute tasks without thinking, but we can show that we understand the paradoxes of modern management, that serves to different interests that are not in the line with organizational efficiency, simplicity and cost efficiency.