November 8; There Is One Sure Path To Mission Success And Eternal Salvation
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Eleven: Failure; 8 November

For there is one God

and one mediator between God and mankind,

the man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:5

There Is One Sure Path To Mission Success And Eternal Salvation

Duplication

“You have the assignment?” I said to the guy running legal. “I thought I had the assignment…” I was running human resources.

We both were given the same task by our mutual Big Boss VP who was layers above us on the organizational pyramid.

We only found out about the dual delegation when we began dueling for resources to do the job. Our boss gave both of us the same mission and did not coordinate our efforts. We found that support staff were doing the same work reporting on the work-product progress up two divergent chains of command.

It was something like a matrix structure where one person or team reports to two different managers.

Except that no single point of contact was in charge. There were two. The relationships were not doubled but multiplied exponentially.

This was a reporting structure that was even more unmanageable. The Big Boss failed to understand this variation of the principle of Unity of Command. The one boss should hold one person accountable for one task.

***

Peter Thiel, author of Zero to One, writes,

The best thing I did as a manager at PayPal was to make every person in the company responsible for doing just one thing.

Every employee’s one thing was unique, and everyone knew I would evaluate him only on that one thing. I had started doing this just to simplify the task of managing people.

But then I noticed a deeper result: defining roles reduced conflict. Most fights inside a company happen when colleagues compete for the same responsibilities.

Startups face an especially high risk of this since job roles are fluid at the early stages. Eliminating competition makes it easier for everyone to build the kinds of long-term relationships that transcend mere professionalism. Thiel, Peter; Masters, Blake (2014-09-16). Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Kindle Locations 1426-1431). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The US Army and Silicon Valley would agree,

Each mission requires only a single tactical action, and the commander employs tactics to accomplish each. US Army, United States Government (2012-01-19). Army Doctrine Publication ADP 3-0 (FM 3-0) Unified Land Operations October 2011 (pp. 9-10) Kindle Edition.

Unified action is the synchronization, coordination, and/or integration of the activities of governmental and nongovernmental entities with military operations to achieve unity of effort.

The civilian world doesn’t much like the hard, callous, military-masculine words like “command” preferring the more inclusive and un-gendered unbiased of “unity of effort.”  But the principle is the same.

***

The Big Boss VP squandered the resources of his team. He failed in the ‘organize’ part of management of who-does-what with his teams’ duplicating efforts.

Within a year he lost his ability to lead; he lost his ability and power to inspire. In two years he lost his authority to lead; he got fired.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy 2:5

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2 Responses

  1. March 28, 2016

    […] Frank’s Board Directors were violating at least these four principles and probably others. The most egregious management error in board governance was the disruption of the chain of command. […]

  2. March 28, 2016

    […] Frank’s Board Directors were violating at least these four principles and probably others. The most egregious management error in board governance was the disruption of the chain of command. […]

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