Management practices and tools that just “don’t work”

From the management’s perspective managers perform tasks, manage people and do business. Accordingly, there are numerous methodologies and tools helping to manage business and people:

Just In Time Production
(1) In Japan at Toyota Motor Company, Taichii Ohno and Shigeo Shingo incorporated Ford’s type of production and some other techniques into an approach named the Toyota Production System or Just In Time Production (JIT). The inventory strategy strives to improve a business return on investment by simultaneously reducing in-process inventory and associated costs.
(2) The core idea of a Lean organization is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with less resource.
(3) Iwao Kobayashi’s 20 keys is a longer list that can be used in manufacturing audits. It reads very much like a “who’s who” of manufacturing innovations and hence makes a very useful checklist.
(4) Six Sigma (6б) is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola in 1981. It was initially aimed at quantifying the defects that occurred during manufacturing process first and then at reducing those defects to a very small level.
(5) Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a top-down approach in which organizations become more efficient and modernized. Reengineering is a fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in cost, quality, speed and service.
(6) The Self Directed Work Team (SDWT) is perhaps the most powerful organizational concept that motivates, coordinates, solves problems and also makes better decision than an individual could. But this performance comes at a price: decisions are slow, work teams require extensive training and months to mature.
(7) Total Quality Management (TQM) is a set of management practices throughout the organization geared to continuously improve the business processes in order to ensure that the organization consistently meets or exceeds in satisfying a customer or a supplier.
(8) … others.

In today’s business environment do all these methodologies and tools really come out the way we need them to? Current economic and financial environments make us doubt. If these tools were as efficient and as great as claimed then we would not see companies struggling and vanishing. Why it is then so?

eko systemFirstly, to deal with people is much more complex than these tools and methodologies take into consideration. They are all lacking the core issues that people among themselves distinguish and shape from each other. Deep inside we all have our values that are a general social policy of what is socially desirable and what is not. Values are practically invisible until we practice them. Another thing is the system of social norms that can be described as building blocks of social institutions (family, education system, political system, legislation). And finally, we play different roles and have different statuses in societies in which we cohabit with others. In the process of socialization we learn the social roles, thus bringing order and predictability into our social life. Management methodologies and tools disregard (lack) all said issues although they are almost vital, very important and even crucial to our behavior. Not dealing with them makes management tools and methodologies deficient.

Bill Gates
system approachWe are all bombarded by phrases as: “Three, five, ten (or whatever number) lessons to .... whatsoever” to solve our personal or company problems. This is a fractional thinking. It is not how nature, life, business and also our brain work. Shouldn't we begin to think in a more appropriate form? Some different attitude and idea is system approach/thinking as the process of understanding how things (regarded as systems) influence one another within a whole; or maybe analogues way- phenomenon that varies infinitely over a range. Both of them are much more “natural” and realistic as they overarch a topic that should be learned or applied and thus give an overall perspective. In this way we do not anatomize the topic and therefore do not lose the connections between parts but rather have a clearer picture with clear relations.

I am strongly convinced that the above written is the reason why management and leadership approaches, tools and methodologies used today do not to work properly causing troubles for all of us.

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