Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Key Management Strategies

15.12.2008
Five unusual practices that organizations can employ to maximize employee effectiveness.

A. Alexandra Michel’s new book, “Bullish on Uncertainty: How Organizational Cultures Transform Participants,” explores the case of two major U.S. investment banks – with two differing philosophies on how to structure business processes and organizational strategies.

Her counterintuitive findings: the bank that amplified bankers’ uncertainty produced better overall results than the bank that reduced bankers’ uncertainty. The book’s conclusions have implications for every knowledge-based industry.

“In our society we tend to believe that knowledge workers can better cope with complexity when we decrease their uncertainty and give them the tools they need to become experts,” says Michel who is a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “This research, in contrast, shows that people are often better at complex jobs when they know less. This gives them the incentive to question assumptions and collaborate with others.”

What’s more, Michel’s analysis found several traits that marked the bank that achieve the best results by amplifying uncertainty. [See Michel discussing her research: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBCQQ9K9V3M].

Here are some of the unusual practices that uncertainty-amplifying organizations use:

Bubble-Up Strategy
“Strategy should not be dictated top-down but needs to continuously “bubble-up” from lower-level employees who are closest to the market. It thus becomes less explicit and more fluid than people are usually comfortable with,” says Michel.
Fluid Roles
“Organizational roles should be vague and fluid. As employees need to constantly self-organize anew, they become more aware of what a particular situation demands, as opposed to executing automatic routines,” says Michel.
Staffing Based on Availability
“Professionals should not be staffed based on their expertise but based on availability,” Michel says. “Their resulting lack of knowledge will force them to communicate with others and distribute knowledge throughout the organization.”
Training that Highlights Contradictions
“Training should not resolve but highlight contradictions so that people become comfortable with this ubiquitous feature of the real world,” says Michel.
Create a 360-degree Mentality
“Instead of focusing employees on a limited number of goals—such as revenues—they need to be focused on the consequences of all of their actions, such as deals lost to competitors, year-round feedback from clients and colleagues; assistance provided to other departments; time costs of team members; and costs of other organizational resources,” says Michel. “As employees keep muddling through this deluge of information without explicit guidelines, they become more sensitized to complexity and capable of dealing with it.”

Adopting these management techniques can help create what Michel calls the “insecure overachiever,” a professional who compulsively doubts what he or she knows and by lack of relevant knowledge is forced (not only incentivized!) to collaborate. “These ad-hoc collaborations are more likely to notice the uniqueness of a situation and design the right solution—versus merely apply the same template that has worked in the past,” she says.

James Grant | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>