Are Heirarchies All Bad? LO6836
Sat, 20 Apr 1996 12:05:21 -0400

Replying to LO6809 --

Re: Are Heirarchies All Bad? LO6809 again

It seems that several questions or ideas are suggested in Eric's post. In
asking if all heirarchy is bad, he says "...the more time we spend in
front of our information servers (computer screens) the more we loose
touch with the human elements of the organization."

Skip some...

Then he says a bit further down, "...the flatter that organizations get,
the less human communication that goes on between the supervisors
(managers) and those they are actually supervising (managing). For
example, I barely see my current division manger, and when I do, we can
exchange a good morning, and that's about it. So we need the hierarchy to
get back in touch with our humanity." What an interesting conclusion. I
suggest that instead of concluding that you needed more people between
those who lead the organization and those who do value adding work to
bring us in touch with humanity, the conclusion should be to get out from
behind the computer once in a while and to talk with your colleagues face
to face.

The topic then shifts a bit to training leaders rather than discussing

Skip some...

>How do we expect to develop real leadership skills within an
>organization, if the jump from being a worker (producer) to being a
>supervisor or manager involves the jump from managing one (yourself & your
>own personal time) to supervising 30 or 40 people.

Eric may well have a very strong point here, if the organization is moving
someone up to a leadership position because that person has been there
long enough to be promoted. But. There's always one of these isn't there.
If the organization is selecting leaders based on exhibited leadership
capabilities or characteristics, I don't see the problem. It's then a
matter of learning new tasks, not new behaviors, values, etc.

But, I could be missing Eric's point altogether. If I have, well, never
mind. In my perspective, the problem is not so much heirarchy, it's
paternalism or autocracy within a heirarchy. There may only two levels --
leader and workers -- but if the leader thinks of him or herself as king
or queen or as mom or pop, trouble may well arise that could be as bad as
that in a 20 level organization.

Ned Hamson, editor: The Journal for Quality and Participation
Association for Quality and Participation, 801-B W. 8th St., Suite 501,
Cincinnati, OH 45203
Tel: 513-381-1979 Fax: 513-381-0070
"This is the time... We are the people... Let's work together... Now!"
On vision... "What you see is what you get!" ---- Noble philosopher: F.
European representative: Peter Beerten, Belgium Consultancy Group: Tel:
011-32-02-569-0222/Fax: 011-32-02-569-7480
Zat, 20 apr 1996


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