Want an Agile Business? Avoid Over Management.

PWC have an incredibly useful online tool, named the org DNA profiler;
CLICK HERE to view the DNA profiler

Which poses the question why some organisations consistently deliver, whilst others disappoint, given they are in the same market, stocked with the same talent, the same opportunities. The questions are around organisational DNA and answering them will profile your organisation as one of the following;

•    The resilient organisation
•    The military precision organisation
•    The just in time oganisation
•    The fits and starts organisation
•    The outgrown organisation
•    The over managed organisation
•    The passive organisation

In today’s business environment, where agility is increasingly required to head off disruptors, one of the organisational types you don’t want to be is the overmanaged organisation.

In the overmanaged business, “We’re from corporate, we are here help”, is the mantra.

In the overmanaged business, central corporate managers, disconnected from the day to day knowledge of the operations they interact with, will use over analysis and micro-management to display their sense of value to corporate “centre”. After all, if they are not seen to contribute in some way, why are they there at all? In the over managed business, the tendency is to find reasons not to do something, as opposed to doing something, negative management process v positive management process. In an overly managed business with overarching central controls, introducing local flexibility and innovation for say rewarding your people, or servicing clients with new technology will be very difficult to achieve. The friction between local needs as recognised and understood by local managers, and the corporate need to maintain control in a way “centre” can relate to will restrict agility.

Here is how PWC characterise the over managed organisation;

“Multiple layers of management create “analysis paralysis” in a frequently bureaucratic and highly political environment.

Burdened with multiple layers of management, the overmanaged organisation is a case study in “analysis paralysis.” When it does move, it moves slowly and reactively, often pursuing opportunities later or less vigorously than its competitors. More consumed with the trees than the forest, managers spend their time checking subordinates’ work rather than scanning the horizon for new opportunities or threats. Frequently bureaucratic and highly political, this organisation frustrates self-starters and results-oriented individuals.

Influence in an overmanaged organisation is mostly dependent on title and role and collaboration across organisational lines is not a common occurrence. Senior people don’t “walk the talk” and rarely deliver consistent messages. People in the overmanaged organisation are motivated more by incentives and rewards versus value and pride in their company.

If you work outside of headquarters in an overmanaged organisation, you’ve almost certainly had your decisions reversed by someone in corporate who knows less about your customers than you do. Perhaps customers approached you about a new program they saw advertised, and that was the first you’d heard of it. If you’re staff, you spend an inordinate amount of time anticipating questions that never come up and running analyses that go straight to the shredder. There’s a lot of wasted effort and stagnant information in the overmanaged organisation. Ritual promotions up the extended corporate ladder ensure that mediocrity prevails over merit.”

If you can see these characteristics in your organisation, the ability for the organisation to be agile in response to market and technological change will be virtually non-existent. Can you afford to ignore this vulnerability?

Source; PWC;Colin Morrell. Mutarem Management