Two weeks ago (as I posted here) I have got a team again. Of course I had seen what is coming, so I was able to prepare to drive the change smoothly. There were many issues I wanted to solve immediately. One and the most important issue was that the former manager and I have too different management style. I prefer Management by System extended with Management by Exception. In my method the manager does not take part in daily operation, he works on strategy, process and technology improvements, and eliminating impediments.

The team used to work in different way. It had flat organization, almost all wires ended at the manager, therefore all decisions had been made by the manager. I don’t like this, because:

  • it assumes that the manager knows everything, I don’t do
  • the manager needs to know about every single task, therefore it consumes to much time
  • the manager cannot see the big picture, he losts in details, therefore he easily misses obvious opportunities
  • there is no time to drive the team alongside a strategy

This kind of management is not bad, it is able to achieve its goals as well. I think I am not able to manage a team in such way, easily this style does not suit me. I know that I cannot outlook all things in details, I cannot do head down work effectively, and I really hate when I’m called in the middle of the night to give an approval for a tiny, unimportant thing. And the most significant is that although I normally display self-confidence, I never assume that my first impression and my decisions are always right. I need feedbacks from many sources to build my standpoint, and I’m able to change my mind easily, when facts make me to do so. Flat organization with no delegated decision authority does not work with me.

Anyway, if I want to do my best, I need to change the organization to a form, which suits both the team and me.