How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis

Diagnosis and treatment of management problems

Management is harder than it seems. Each manager who has already gained a great deal of experience and who has faced the main management crises will agree with this. Dr. Ichak Adizes, an acknowledged business and management theory guru, talks about these difficulties, why they arise, and how to overcome them, in his book “How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis”.

His book is a true management Bible. In fact, the Adizes methodology has successfully been used by more than 2,000 companies in 50 countries.

The companies that followed Adizes’s method admit that the process of communication got easier. Because of this, problems were spotted faster; turnover of staff fell to a minimum, the working environment improved, and productivity, profitability and market share increased. People in these companies are now more positive, get along with one another easier and do their best to help one another.

Contrary to the popular belief that a company’s success depends on the manager, Ichak Adizes claims that no one can be a perfect manager. He describes this in the book, and explains that ignoring this fact leads to a fall in productivity and a loss of income for the company.

Management is such a complex process that it is simply no use hoping that one person can perform all the managerial roles with equal success. Each role needs a special style – a particular behavior in specific situations. Dr. Adizes explains that these roles often contradict each other. Thus, a person can play these roles in different periods of life but that individual will never be able to play them all simultaneously.

People are the Reason for Management Problems

Companies’ management problems are always caused by people – to be more precise, by their inability to perform the roles assigned to them. Due to this realization, Dr. Adizes developed and offered his typology of managerial roles in the company:

P – The Producer – he sells, engineers, runs the production system, or effectively completes research assignments. He or she is more capable of achieving results and is more results-oriented than others.

A – Administrator – he provides for efficiency. He or she is a manager who plans, coordinates, supervises and controls the fulfilment of the assigned tasks, and successfully manages staff and projects.

E – Entrepreneur – a manager-entrepreneur who is in the creative pursuit, who launches projects, invents and creates, and who finds the way for the company’s development and profit making.

I – Integrator – a manager who is concerned with people, who is concerned with smoothing the workings of the system, combining the processes so that employees can work as a team.

There are no managers who can perform all of these roles equally well.

Each player has a certain set of qualities. Together they bring balance to a company’s management team.

Wrong Management Styles

When the manager ignores or doesn’t perform one of the four managerial roles (P, A, E or I), the wrong management style is formed.

There are 5 absolutely wrong management styles and they are widespread. Each style implies that the manager has one prominent managerial role while other roles are not present at all.

This is how Dr. Adizes characterizes the wrong management styles.

P000 – the Lone Ranger

It’s easy to recognize the Lone Ranger: he’s always up to his eyes in his work while his subordinates perform the role of gofers. He doesn’t let them develop and doesn’t delegate any tasks to them. The thing is, the Lone Ranger is absolutely sure that only he himself can achieve results! A recipe for the Lone Ranger’s success is hard work and blind commitment. It would be all right but for the fact that sooner or later the Lone Ranger’s “inner engine” burns out. To make matters worse, the Lone Ranger’s staff is left feather-brained and unlearned. Even if the Lone Ranger continues producing results, eventually, the crisis becomes inevitable.

0A00 – the Bureaucrat

If you phone a company because of a problem and you’re told that they can’t do anything about it because it’s not allowed by rules, you should know that a Bureaucrat manages this company. The most important thing for the Bureaucrat is following the rules, the rest is secondary. Moreover, the Bureaucrat is not goal-oriented at all. Changes are the most horrible thing for the Bureaucrat. Stability and certainty are essential for the Bureaucrat which leads to the suppression of any initiatives and ideas in the company. Meanwhile, the staff turns into a passive cog in the rusty machine.

00E0 – the Arsonist

The Arsonist is the management style, in which the entrepreneurial function suppresses and pushes other managerial roles out. This means that the company will be torn apart due to a bunch of tasks and ideas that the Arsonist believes should have been accomplished yesterday. It’s crucial for the Arsonist that each employee in the company be busy with something. Although, the employee often doesn’t do anything because they don’t know what to do. Plans, tasks, motivation can be changed every day. If you dare object to the Arsonist, you can be fired in an instant. Such a manager needs subordinates who are his fans applauding their boss’s every idea. As the majority of tasks are not completed, sooner or later, the company under the Arsonist’s control faces serious problems.

000I – the Superfollower

The absence of conflicts in the company is crucial for the Superfollower. The Superfollower has neither ideas nor aims. He doesn’t accept a specific system because there will be those who don’t like it and it’ll be necessary to seek compromise. The Superfollower spends the majority of his time on meetings and discussions, and is afraid to take the lead and make a decision. He or she also spends a lot of time listening to complaints and dealing with the staff’s problems. The company will develop to a certain extent as long as the majority of employees are satisfied with everything. But as soon as the majority is opposed to something or doesn’t get what it wants, the collapse of the company is inevitable!

0000 – Dead Wood

The Dead Wood is the last wrong management style. Dead Woods are pseudo-managers who didn’t succeed in management and who don’t have any developed managerial role. They are quite widespread. Burnt-out Lone Rangers and Superfollowers often turn into Dead Woods. These may also be people who got the job because of the pull or the “good old boy” network. The Dead Wood is like a poison that slowly kills the company and leads to its collapse.

Try to analyze the roles of your team and maybe it will be the key to conflict resolution?

What Should a Real Manager be Like?

In order to understand how to solve the mismanagement crisis, it is necessary to realize what a real manager should be like. A good manager can’t possess all the skills and qualities that should be characteristic of good management in general. However, a manager must have 9 important qualities for successful work in a team.

1. He can perform all four managerial roles though not equally well.

He’s great at performing at least one of these roles, while only performing others satisfactorily. In other words, he hasn’t got zeroes in his PAEI description.

2. He is aware of his strengths and weaknesses.

In order to manage successfully, we should know ourselves well. We should know which standard PAEI roles are our strengths and which weaknesses should be overcome. In order to get to know themselves, managers should build rapport with the external world that is less prone to censorship. In order to have a good rapport with yourself, the manager needs to have a good rapport with others.

3. He liaises with the people around him.

He listens to criticism of his work so as to better understand himself. He understands that he is what he does.

4. He has a balanced vision of himself.

He takes into account his strengths and weaknesses.

5. He accepts his strengths and weaknesses.

He doesn’t try to be someone else, at least in the short run.

6. He can assess and admit the excellent work of others even if performing the roles that he’s not very good at.

7. He accepts others’ opinion on the issues where it can be more profound than his own.

8. He can resolve conflicts, which inevitably arise when people with different needs and styles are in one management team.

9. He creates an environment that fosters learning.

A good manager should create a learning environment where a conflict is perceived not as a threat, but as a chance to learn and grow. People learn from each other in this environment, the differences in opinions are perceived as an opportunity for each party involved in the conflict to discover something new.

It’s hard to be a good manager. To achieve this, a person should be fully developed and mature. But the very structure and purpose of companies can often minimize the ability of people to become good managers. That’s why a manager should understand what good management means.

What Does Good Management Mean?

In order for a company to be a success, it is necessary to adhere to 2 key conditions:

1. The company needs not one manager, but rather a group of managers who:

  • can play all four managerial roles;
  • are aware of their strengths and weaknesses;
  • accept themselves as they are;
  • accept people who differ from them;
  • can assess others’ capabilities which they themselves don’t possess;
  • can work with people who differ from them.

2. Each member of the management team must:

  • meet the requirements connected with his task;
  • be able to make decisions on his own;
  • complement other team members;
  • match the company’s organizational environment.

Provided the first group of conditions is met, we get a management team. If the second group is met, then the management team meets the company’s needs. Good management is possible only when both groups of conditions are satisfied.

10 Reasons to Read this Book:

  • You will find out what type of manager you are;
  • You will identify your strongest leadership qualities
  • You will understand how to create a team of managers that will provide a stable growth of a company;
  • You will get acquainted with Adizes’s method of management;
  • You will define which stage of the lifecycle your company is in;
  • You will find out how to turn a conflict into a constructive process;
  • You will discover common problems that hinder you and your company’s work;
  • You will be able to do the necessary therapy of your company and also find out how others do it;
  • You will become a good manager.

If you want to manage and do it well, you should know what is generally needed for effective management and learn to see the qualities, which are underdeveloped in you, and in others. We should learn to value the people that can complement us and our management styles.

But first, we must learn to understand ourselves.

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