As a follow-up to my previous post:
What business value do ‘managers’ bring to the business…?
Of course, in small scale, privately owned businesses, managers or owners are there to assume full responsibility for the business, to define the overall business models, to define the overall strategies, and to steer and participate in the day-by-day operations towards those strategies. And to take full responsibility for the outcomes, including any externalities.
But in large organisations, what does the typical mid-level manager, with a multitude of mgmt-levels above, and a few levels below, do…?
Hardly is he/she contributing to any business strategies, hardly is he/she contributing to any real customer (i.e. business) value… How often do these mid-level manager’s actually meet with real customers….? How often do these mid-level managers come up with ‘the perfect solution for the customer’…?
Instead, the mid-level manager in large organisations is a police officer, responsible for that all the predefined internal corporate processes – relevant or not – are executed flawlessly.
Whether these processes make the business more competitive or not is besides the point – the responsibility of the manager – his/her role is to monitor process compliance, i.e to police the adherence to internal processes.
In our contemporary attempts to become more ‘lean’ in our businesses, here’s where there is a lot of ‘fat’ to cut away from the organizational overhead: highly paid managers that are fundamentally just overhead, since they do not actively contribute to real business value.
Instead of terminating the guys in the trenches, those who have the ability to provide real customer value, when the numbers go red, why don’t our businesses cut out the mid-level managers, whose only job role is to monitor ‘execution’….?