A technique for people in charge who can’t be bothered with change management.
A group of middle managers go into a room. This is almost like beginning of a really bad joke, except I really don’t think this is funny…
The middle managers have gone into the room to make decisions. Decisions on how the riffraff will have to work to improve efficiency. Of course, it takes more than one meeting to decide this, but at some point they will emerge victorious, having conquered this difficult task of making a decision.
The blog post
Any decision made is communicated to the rest of the company in a blog post. It might be slightly different in your organisation – a wiki, a forum – but the fact of the matter remains the same: once the blog post is out, that decision has been implemented.
I’ve seen it many times, that very little or no thought has gone into how this new initiative can be absorbed into our way of working. How can it be made real? How do we get it to land? What is the expected uptake? What support will be needed? Are there blockers or enablers to remove or take advantage of? Who can help and who will hinder?
The real concern is the decision itself. The implementation mechanism is a single instance, written communication. I call this Management by Blog Post.
Always being right
This is a really good management style if it’s more important to be ‘right’ about the decision than getting the benefits of actually implementing it. You might prefer a one-liner on your CV over the outcome of making the change.
When using Management by Blog Post you’ll always have solid evidence
a) of what you have shared exactly
b) when you shared it
This gives you the benefit of holding people accountable when they don’t do the thing you decided but without having to actually engage with them and support them.
This can be such a time saver for middle management, who has lots of decisions to make about how to improve the working environment for the riffraff and therefore doesn’t have time to do change management the old fashioned, heavy-weight way.
You can implement organisational wide initiatives in as much time as it takes to write a blog post.
Another advantage of this method is that the riffraff can take full responsibility for the implementation – in a way that best suits their needs.
Middle management has been stepping further and further away from the riffraff over the past few years as Autonomous Teams have become the new orange (which I heard is the new black) – so it’s only right for them to allow those impacted the most the responsibility for the actual implementation.
The real message
The real message is, that I’m totally attempting sarcasm here – in case that wasn’t clear.
Don’t do Management by Blog Post! Ever!
I know that change management is hard and that communication is hard – but it’s not impossible.
If you are doing Management by Blog Post I implore you to stop and introspect:
- are you and your fellow middle managers making decisions for others when others would actually be better placed to make the decisions?
- is ‘making a decision’ more important than creating a good environment for the humans you work with?
- have you got too many fingers in too many pies and consequently not enough time to do anything ‘good enough’?
- are you able to clearly articulate what outcome you expect, so the humans working for you are able to take responsibility for finding the best solution and implementing it to their needs?