Last month, our article talked about the processes involved in successful
projects. In addition to the process part of projects or any type of work
in general, we must
consider the people side of the equation. This excerpt from the book
Joy of Work gives some examples of a conventional business approach to work
compared to the Joy of Work
A Conventional Approach (*)
Joy at Work Approach
The principal purpose of the company is "creating shareholder
value, although other purposes or goals maybe mentioned.
The principal goal or purpose of the company is stewarding its
resources to serve society in an economically strong manner.
More than 95% of important decisions are made by official leaders of
the organization, officers and board members.
Some 99% of all important decisions are made by non leaders.
Decisions are made or "approved" by leaders at the highest
practicable organizational level.
Decisions are made by non leaders at the lowest practicable
Leaders see their role as managing people and resources.
Leaders see their role as serving other employees.
Leaders see themselves as initiators, creators of vision, developers of
action plans, accountability officers and those who have an ability
"to get things done."
Leaders are mentors, coaches, teachers, helpers and cheerleaders.
Adopt "participative management" techniques, in which bosses
ask subordinates for advice but make final decisions themselves.
Allow subordinates to manage resources and make decisions.
Oversee rigorous advice process and fire people who do not use it
Job positions, slots and titles remain basically the same over
Only the names with the boxes change.
No company-wide job descriptions.
Every person is considered unique and must build a job around his or
her unique skills and passions.
Management and labor are treated and paid differently.
Problems between management and labor will often arise.
There is only one category of employee within the organization.
There are no separate management people.
Under "control" philosophy, the job of supervisors is to make
decisions, hold people accountable, assign responsibility and perform a
host of other tasks, making it impossible to have more than a few people
reporting to anyone leader.
A large organization may require eight to 12 layers of
Minimum number of supervisory layers (no more than three to five
between the CEO and an entry- level person) to minimize the number of
bosses and hierarchy.
Each person is responsible for managing himself or herself.
Low level of "volunteerism."
Employees are characterized by a high degree of passivity.
High degree of "volunteerism" for special assignments and task
People at all levels of the organization are actively engaged in its
Shared values are promoted as a technique to improve chances to achieve
Shared values are goals to which the company aspires in and of
themselves, not merely as a means to financial ends.
Different pay programs for leaders than for workers.
Everyone is paid according to the same criteria.
No special program for senior leaders or "management."
Pay set by bosses.
Ongoing experiments allowing individuals to set their own compensation,
after getting advice from colleagues and supervisors.
Turnover of employees is higher.
People enjoy their work and do not want to leave.
Management information system designed to provide information primarily
to managers (leaders).
Financial and other "sensitive" information shared only with
Other information given to people on a "need to know" basis.
"Management information" is shared with everyone in the company,
not just senior leaders.
Most decisions made by people other than leaders.
Sees primary role as representing the interests of shareholders.
Sees role as representing the interests of all stakeholders (employees,
suppliers, shareholders, customers).