02 November 2010

Workplace without Managers to Manage People

Have you thought about this - the machines do not have managers. Let us take a mechanical machine with moving parts. When there is a friction between moving parts, they just make a noise. The mechanic applies some grease between the moving parts and the noise goes away. The parts of the machine manage themselves and they make sound due to "wear and tear". (in this analogy, let us not treat this friction as conflict. think that the noise due wear and tear as natural phenomenon). Are we moving towards such a style of management - the management of working without supervision.

The world is moving towards self managed people. We have seen people especially seniors making hell a lot of noise about young generation (or Gen Y) in a hi-fi and not-so-easy-to-understand English. Well, the YOUNGistan is moving towards the realm of "self managed" and "self correcting" management. It is not only because they are highly intelligent than the previous generation and abundance of information being available to them but also due to the fact that they are brought up in a time frame of rapid changes. They adopt to the changes reasonably well (than the previous generation) and embrace it quite well.

Let me share couple of my experiences. I have been offering some guidance to an aspiring candidate and i would have spent not more than 30 minutes totally. The candidate now is a young IT professional. The most striking thing about her is that she is managing herself in every move and learning every bit through her exposure, a typical Gen Y. 

I have seen quite a few people right out of college, i would say, they are sparks and sharks. I heard a senior person having "30 years" of experience saying that this generation is a spark. That makes me to think that these people have ability to manage themselves quite well without having someone to manage them. In previous generations when there was no technological aid, the managers were teaching. Now, there is technology to do the teaching and these managers have to move up (the value chain). Gen Ys have enough skill to manage themselves and make their manager to be jobless (this will make managers to focus on some core business than mere people management).

Soon the guys are going to say - "rather than meeting over a conflict, let us meet over technology or business that makes sense to everyone". This generation and generations to come is going to put us in the orbit of "self managed" and "self correcting" style of management.

Isn't this what we want? Shouldn't we incubate such thing at workplace? 

My heart says "yes"

What do you think? yes or no or can't say :-)


ravindhar said...

Yes for most of the youngsters.. Especially they are good at communication and Self organized...

Lakshmi Narayanan N said...


Glad to see the thoughts being said by a Gen Y :-)

i think, the inertia is there. let us see whether it takes us to next level.