Hi guys, in this post I want to get your help to understand why 99% of our management does not have any clue how companies or people work. Some time ago I worked for a company that went through a big reorganization. At that time I was an agile coach and my role changed a lot. The new management clearly stated there was no space for coaches in that organization, instead we need development managers for each team and product. They mention there was a big problem with accountability and development managers would solve that problem, when I listen that I just wanted to cry, I could not believe how much clueless people can be.
During several months the company had problems in putting out a product with great quality and top management continuously blamed development teams for all these problems, but in reality every six to eight months they did perform huge changes to the environment not allowing any stable environment for people to work on. So with the new re organization new persons were putted in charged and some of them came up with the idea that all the problems were lack of accountability, their solution?
Put development managers in all teams to create accountability.
In their view accountability was the problem and putting a person there as manager would solve all the problems. At that time I did not know if I should cry or laugh of such lack of understanding of how systems works. At that time I offered my help in order to help a couple of teams to improve but my help was refused, all the help that teams should receive should come from development managers because they were the ones becoming accountable for teams success so they should take care of everything.
At that time I asked:
But are we changing something in the way how we work? What big changes are we doing in order to succeed this time?
And without no surprise of course they were not planning to change much, they expected just because they someone is accountable, something would change even if nothing in the system would change. This is where I see that most of the times putting people accountable for something and not changing the system around is purely stupidity. You can put there 1001 different persons that most probably the outcome will be the same, if the system does not change the outcome will not change no matter who is accountable so for me most of the times accountability is a pure joke.
And now you may think that these people could bring new ideas and new ways of working, but in reality these people were already in the company and they changed from Line Manager to Development Managers, now instead of being responsible for people they were responsible for the release of the product but all the rest was exactly the same. So my question is if they were not able to help people before how can they help them now? My answer: they cannot!!!.
A lot of companies and managers think that accountability is the solution to make things work but in reality accountability is kind of useless if you do not understand how the whole system works around you, and this is one of the biggest problems of nowadays management, they do not have any clue about system thinking. This is a crucial area that managers need to dominate otherwise they will never understand how to take their companies into the right direction.