I used to wonder why organisational charts were drawn with the executive roles at the top – instead of the other way around to show that the management layers support the operational ones to get work done. This support takes many forms.
- Control – Watching out for bad things and preventing them
- Assistance – Watching out for areas that are struggling and helping directly or arranging for help to be provided
- Decisions – Ensuring that information is flowing to and from teams so that decisions can be made – at whatever level is best for the decision to be made
The management function can also be described as similar to being a conductor – making sure that work is flowing in and out of a team smoothly and the team has the right skills and capacity to do the work.
I have been wondering what it could be like if we did not have management as a function any more.
- Everyone could be responsible for observing the system of work and making improvements whenever needed – in a continuous way.
- People could find their own valuable work to do – and just get on with doing it – this includes helping others when they need assistance.
There is a lot of value to be gained from having different views of data and information available. We currently cover this by having management layers – I wonder what we would call this function if we did not have management any more?