This is the 237th chapter in the Arcane book of Management Lore and Spells and Programs:
First there is a rabble without a leader or a committee or any kind of leading entity. Eventually there is a leader. Depending on how clear-thinking he is, his organisation starts to form. It’s like music, repetitive, boring, but the occasional clever or lucky kid hits a resonating note or sound or sequence. But it’s mostly just familiar and not much else.
I am aware that it will be thought that this is long winded and obvious. But no, it isn’t. Repetition is good for you. So are ideas we do not recognise or see straight away.
Experience is a terrible thing. Why? It tells you the answer immediately. So you “just know”. So you get good at looking for the traps. You also lose the will to explain. And so the thread of it becomes irritating
Nevertheless, this is an attempt to show why, how, etc. So please keep reading.
This is based on 60 years being the top of dozens of factories and businesses small, medium, or huge and all different. This is rare and unknown knowledge in these days of ignorance and ersatz computer knowledge. Most people can just fit themselves into an existing structure. I’ve had to think hard for results.
Right. You are the leader.
Most people will give you time and the benefit of the doubt. Others will accept you instantly. Others will be jealous, some actively some passively. Others will think to use you by getting your ear. Others will think to climb over you. The possibilities are endless.
The organisation is your first line of defence against all of them. Your channel of communication, your means of controlling the weapon it is.
Organise to get results
You and only you. You know your aims, what are you trying to do. Only you know what you can and cannot do. So of necessity the things you cannot do must be delegated. Also the ones you can’t do well, but understand. These people must be clear that they have the authority and responsibility and tools to do it properly. You set the targets in agreement with them. This is the cement of the organisation.
Only you can change these agreements. Only you can rationalise them. The organisation is your tool to get stuff done. It’s a tool for getting huge numbers of people to do what you want. You need to shape it for its purpose. This is the purpose of the organisation, not your glorification.
Because you cannot do everything yourself. You yourself do not know much. Or enough.
The purpose of organisation is to do things at the right time together in time, or place or purpose etc. The organisation is therefore trust: that you will use it. Trust that everyone knows how to use it, etc.
What is it you want to do?
Achieve your aims!
What will you do when you’ve got them? Are they realistic? Really? The aims can change or be modified. So will the organisation need to change aims, interim steps, PERT Chart or project management in newspeak?
You need access to knowledge needed (please don’t think computers!). You need protection of all kinds. You need trust and that leads to trusting and monitoring others – not just to do something but also to get others who you and they can trust, and trust them. You and they need the tools to do the job. You need advice, and whether to take it.
The organisation is the framework within which all know their boundaries, and who does what, and where to go. So it has to be clear. Unequivocal.
Organising is something everybody thinks they understand. They don’t. Everyone knows the organisation common in factories or for a newspaper or the armed forces etc. Look carefully, they are not the same.
What happens is that people tend to fit into organisations and do a job long before they appreciate the ramifications. This is usually when they think they have mastered their own job, and often when they start to think they could do a better job than somebody else.
There is organising to obtain information and its values, and all sorts of other reasons.
There is organising to carry out specific jobs.
There is organising to disseminate.
There is organising for safety, aggression, suppression and many other reasons.
One person cannot do everything. Therefore: delegate. No underling can do everything, so you need judgement. Use small committees for gathering information.
Your subordinates have to trust as well. If they cannot, they fail.
You have to be better at what you delegate. At least to start with, so you can check. Otherwise be sure you know what you want! Use Grannie’s rules of thumb!
Be wary of committees. They are necessary but dangerous. They are the easy answer, and some never even start to work. But: good committees are beyond price. This usually means a good Chairman.
Grannie’s rules of thumb like Responsibility and Authority are opposite sides of the same coin. Work expands to fill the number of people available. All committees are run by a cabal. Usually three but often more. Committees rarely work well by computer, skype, telephone, whatsapp etc. Never give executive authority to a committee. And so on.
There now – I’ve put forward some ideas.
The ball’s in your court. It should be noted that Lefty Marxists are already wise to it, using Marxists with a green title, Marxists with a moderate (undeserved) name (Lib Dems), Marxists with a nationalistic name (SNP etc). Somewhere out there someone hit on it by accident and they can always gang up if needed, and the population none the wiser.
Photo by Proctor Archives