Published on November 8, 2013
Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure Olivier Serrat 2013 The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank, or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this presentation and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this presentation do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.
Imagine Your purpose-driven organization has the right strategy. It also has the right structure (since that follows strategy). Are you happy? Not yet … You do not have enough of the right stuff.
Wanted: The Right Stuff The right stuff are inspiring, caring, infusing, and initiating managers who go about their business quietly, on the word of Henry Mintzberg. Warren Bennis, always keen on leaders, sees them as white knights who can herd cats. Most people would be happy with either variety; indeed, they would be happy with any of the prototypical characters drawn in management textbooks. But, the fact is that such high-caliber material is not available for nearly all organizations.
On People Decisions Therefore, it is vital to make the most of what human resources organizations do have and to spend more time, integrity, and brainpower on making people decisions than on anything else. Experience shows that one in three promotions ends in failure, that one in three is just about effective, and that one in three comes to pass right. The quality of staffing and promotion reveals the values and standards of an organization’s management and whether it takes its duties seriously.
One Managerial Responsibility Once upon a time, the standard duties of managers were to set objectives, organize, communicate, energize, measure accomplishments, and (maybe) develop people. They must now integrate worldwide phenomena into strategic decisions, take greater risks more often over longer periods, visualize their organization as a whole and blend their function within it, manage by objectives, inspire and motivate knowledge workers, build cohesive teams, and communicate information rapidly and succinctly. Some necessary generic attributes are confidence, enthusiasm, fairn ess, humanity, humility, integr ity, and toughness. There is no room for mediocrity. In the 21st century, managers are responsible for the application and performance of knowledge at task, team, and individual levels. This accountability is absolute and cannot be relinquished.
One Manager Development Managers must be groomed for strategic, operational, and team leadership. Sadly, the art of manager development is in its infancy. Manager development is not about promotion or replacement planning; it is not about finding potential; it is not about attending courses; and it is definitely not a means to change personality. Its sole purpose is to make a person effective. Therefore, manager development must deal with the structure of management relations, with tasks, with the management skills that a person needs, and with the changes in behavior that are likely to sharpen existing skills and make them more operative. If managers are to be grown, the elements of identity that should be cultivated relate to quality (what a manager has to be), function (what a manager has to do), and situation (what a manager has to know).
Growing Managers Human resource management must change. Too often, what the occupation entails has little to do with human resources, even less with management. One should accept that the majority of people want to work productively and that managing them is the responsibility of their manager, not that of a human resource specialist. But, there are crucial roles that, naturally, are best carried out by human resource divisions. One of them is growing managers, not bosses. There are implications for recruiting, coaching and mentoring, learning and development for management, and—quite simply—giving people who merit it the chance to manage.
Caveat These days, people do not so readily accept as manager someone whose credentials they do not admire. If persons are promoted because they are politicians, others will deride management for forcing them to become politicians, too. Some will stop performing; others will start fawning; the best will quit: this should matter very much. When rewards and perquisites go to nonperformance, obsequiousness, or mere cleverness an organization declines in tune with these attributes. As another adage has it, trees die from the top. Ninety percent of what we call "management" consists of making it difficult for people to get things done. —Peter Drucker
Further Reading • ADB. 2008. Managing Knowledge Workers. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/managing-knowledge-workers • ADB. 2009. Managing by Walking Around. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/managing-walking-around • ADB. 2009. Growing Managers, Not Bosses. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/growing-managers-not-bosses • ADB. 2009. Building Trust in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/building-trust-workplace • ADB. 2009. Leading in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/leading-workplace
Further Reading • ADB. 2009. Exercising Servant Leadership. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/exercising-servant-leadership • ADB. 2009. Distributing Leadership. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/distributing-leadership • ADB. 2010. A Primer on Talent Management. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/primer-talentmanagement • ADB. 2010. Informal Authority in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/informal-authorityworkplace
Further Reading • ADB. 2010. Engaging Staff in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/engaging-staffworkplace • ADB. 2010. Leading Top Talent in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/leading-top-talentworkplace • ADB. 2010. Delegating in the Workplace. Manila. Available: www.adb.org/publications/delegating-workplace
Videos • ADB. 2012. Building Trust in the Workplace. Manila. Available: vimeo.com/67184321 • ADB. 2012. Distributing Leadership. Manila. Available: vimeo.com/67185511
Olivier Serrat Principal Knowledge Management Specialist Regional and Sustainable Development Department Asian Development Bank firstname.lastname@example.org www.adb.org/knowledge-management www.facebook.com/adbknowledgesolutions www.scribd.com/knowledge_solutions www.twitter.com/adbknowledge
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Marry in haste, repent at leisure definition. If we marry without thinking about the decision, we will have a lifetime to regret the choice.
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2 Marry in haste, repent at leisure: when do hospital mergers make strategic sense? Introduction Across the developed world, ongoing pressure
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