lördag 25 februari 2017

The Benefit of Management by Fear

In general, the possibility to avoid threats and pain is a stronger motivator than the possibility to gain something pleasant. This is true for most organisms where you can talk about motivation at all. Responding to threats with fear and avoidance is apparently a good survival tactic.

And like all creatures that are dependent on groups to survive, we are particularly fearful of rejection, that the group will reject us and leave us alone in the wild. Which the group will do if the most influential individual in the group tells it to.

This is why management by fear is such an effective strategy for motivating people to work. If you have the mandate to reject people and make their peers reject them as well, you can make them do anything.

Or, not really. There are a few things that the fearful brain is incapable of doing. So if you are planning to use management by fear there are a couple of things you need to be prepared to handle yourself.

You need to define the tasks for your subordinates since their fearful brains won't be able to come up with the tasks themselves.

The tasks need to be perfectly thought out because your people will perform them even though everyone can see that the result is flawed. A fearful brain doesn't dare to criticize your orders.

You need to increase the checks and controls. If subordinates fears showing you mistakes that has been made you need to find other ways bringing them into the light.

(Extensive checks are also important for linking the necessary punishment to bad behaviour. A small part of uncertainty whether or not you will be punished will strengthen the fear, but uncertainty is a strong demotivator. Most punishment should come as a logical consequence of past outcome.)

The responsibility for planning and follow-up if things are going according to plan or not from now resides with you.

You must handle all the external relations. Fearful brains will focus on pleasing you and not your customers.

From now on you have to do all innovation. A fearful brain is incapable of experimenting.

Given that you are willing to assume these responsibilities, management by fear can be a great tool for your organization. The alternative is to create an organization of customer-focused, innovative responsible adults that can manage their own work according to the goals you set together. That will also require a lot from you as their manager, but it is a different set of tools.

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar