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 Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>