Self-regulation vs External monitoring
There have been quite a few ‘innovations’ in organization structures to make them more efficient and effective. The ‘Matrix’ structure is quite common especially in the so-called ‘knowledge-driven ‘ industries such as IT. Whereas in traditional industries such as FMCG, Pharma etc, it still the same pyramid kind of a structure. One of the reasons could be due to the nature of work and also the background and educational levels of the people involved.
Most of these organizations have people to ‘get the work done’. Which in other way means that if there is no one to ‘get the work done’, the work will not get done. The implicit understanding is the people in these roles have no intrinsic motivation to complete their responsibilities. We will not go into the causes for this, but how to address this kind of situations.
If we look closely, the situation is not much different in the Knowledge-driven organizations either. For example, if we take an IT company, there would be a Project Manager, specifically monitoring and ensuring the project runs as per time schedules. And there would be a Functional Manager who provides the knowledge/expertise to make things happen smoothly.
This article doesn’t cover the Knowledge-driven industries, its main focus being an organization which has some kind of a physical product that moves from point A to Point B.
Let’s imagine staff in the warehouse of an FMCG manufacturer/Distributor is equipped with a smartphone (which he owns) and has some kind of mechanism to track all his work-related activities. Such as Attendance, productivity, break timings etc. Essentially he is tracking his / her own performance which will be reflected on his / her own dashboard to see. He can compare his performance vis a vis last week or last month or last quarter.
What would happen to this person’s performance? He will try to improve himself continuously and look for ways and means to achieve better results. It may not happen all the time, but at least most of them would probably try towards it. Which also means people will monitor themselves more than otherwise.
Now imagine an organization equipped with such a system? Such an organization needs fewer ‘managers’ whose task is just to ‘get the work done’.
If you were the CEO, which organization would you prefer?
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Written on 28th October 2018