This table compares the
two extremes that should be considered when selecting a management
mode or style for your company. Any company using an inappropriate
management mode will be a significant disadvantage and could
|Hires ahead of the curve, against quarterly and annual plans
||Hires just-in-time or even too late when pain reaches an intolerable
level, or some sales target is met.
|Does everything "right", spending whatever
it take to produce a high quality result.
||Does an 80-90% job at less than ½ the cost, knowing
that we will have to do it over soon when we learn more (next
month!). Always attempting to build a flexible platform to build
on. Remaining fast and flexible to alter course on a dime.
|Job descriptions are narrow and the phrase "not
my job" is heard a lot
||EVERYONE wears several hats with very broad job descriptions.
People with "not my job" attitudes or the capability
to do only one thing should NEVER be hired.
| Strategy is driven by very large markets and competitive dynamics
and changes rarely. Big fish in a big pond.
||Strategy must be more flexible and focused on a narrow niche
market entry. Small fish in a small pond.
|Software development: 100 Developers with narrow
job descriptions, product managers, project managers, focus groups,
qualitative and quantitative research, lots of customer input
to use in design etc., etc., etc.
|| 10 developers - Mythical man month. We will create a better
product cheaper and faster than 10X our staff. Product management
is one person with help from anyone who has valid input and lots
of creative vision from spending time with customers.
| Studies at great cost because changes are costly,
slow and hard = Oil tanker that needs 3 miles to stop and change
|| Best guess, then adjust, adjust, adjust = heat seeking missile
or speedboat. Change is easy, constant and inevitable.
| Narrow functions and job responsibilities
Narrow value added at many levels, limited authority, big
process management (committee to cover your butt)
| Everyone wears many hats. Roll up the sleeves. Generally DO,
Lots of responsibility, authority and accountability
| Slow decisions. Hierarchy. Four approvals and
signatures needed on everything.
|| Flat, flat, flat organization = TEAM. Fast, instant decisions
(24 hour maximum if data is in and on imperfect data). One person
with experience and domain expertise takes a small risk every
day that can be changed tomorrow.
| Meetings rarely result in decisions, but are part of a long
|| Meetings should almost always result in actual decisions.
| Every decision error costs millions of dollars because the
whole organization needs a plan, budget and commits to huge expenses
|| Change course on a dime, so the cost of errors is generally
very low and changes are relatively cheap to make.
This month's plan is different every month while on a sharp
learning curve as you iterate towards the best solution.
| A year is a long time and often results are measured over
this time frame. Three to five year plans are updated annually.
|| A week is a long time, and must result in progress against
every key goal. 95% of organizational efforts must go towards
short-term objectives needed within 3 months.
| $100,000 is a big expense
|| $1,000 is a big expense
| Everything has a "policy". Decisions set for the masses by
upper management and the fear that "everyone" will want everything
everyone else gets. Time invested in setting a policy is a relatively
infinitesimal cost and often creates an "everyone is equal" feel,
at least within organizational levels. Superstars should be rewarded
super pay, though most big companies do not do this well.
|| Pragmatic day-to-day decisions on a case-by-case basis that
make sense in the context of that month. Often driven by the
cost of existing day-to-day or the current burn rate. Cost of
setting a policy can exceed the cost of the wrong decision due
to smaller scale. Superstars must be cultivated and treated as
such. Anything that can shortcut time to break-even should have
its cost compared against the burn rate to decide.
| Lots of time spent on politics and other activities that do
not create value for customers
|| Minimum overhead, everyone works on creating value for customers
| 6 to 14 Layers of management, many people with narrow knowledge
and skill sets must participate in every decision. Drives creation
of "committees" to make decisions.
|| Flat organization where everyone is on a team, everyone talks
to everyone to get things done quicker. This requires broader
scope of knowledge about the business issues. Buck stops at the
CEO for all decisions.
| Priorities are set as a result of long-term organizational
goals and markets. They are often top down from upper management
who can be isolated from customers and market and segment realities.
|| Priorities are set based on individual customer needs with
a view towards a vision of where the company needs to be in a
year or less. Customer contact is a requirement for virtually
| Costs and sales are fairly predictable month to month based
on my historical data
|| Costs are set by restricted and expensive capital. Sales are
highly unpredictable until a track record is established
| No one can know 5% of what is going on, though they often
believe they know much more
|| The management team MUST know everything that happens as input
into rapidly evolving strategies and day-to-day tactics.
| 9am to 5pm job? Maybe not today?
|| Overtime expected to make deadlines. Always!
SAFETY? NOT REALLY TODAY?
SALARY AND NO REAL UPSIDE
COG IN A WHEEL
BIG IMPACT FROM YOUR CONTRIBUTION