Challenge Everything

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Challenge Everything

  1. 1. Strategic T&L Management The Challenge of Change … . or …. “ Challenge Everything, Baldrick!” With apologies to Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
  2. 2. Challenge of Change <ul><li>What can we learn from the past that is in any way indicative of the future? </li></ul><ul><li>Are management theorists and gurus to be trusted? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have the right, the ability - the duty even - to challenge the status quo of learning and understanding? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Foci <ul><li>Work and the worker </li></ul><ul><li>Management and the Manager </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between the above and the organisational context in which it occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Trends around a discontinuity ( like the Millennium) </li></ul>
  4. 4. WORK: Back about as far as we can go... <ul><li>“ And to Adam he said ... : cursed is the ground because of you - in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life …. in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.” </li></ul><ul><li>Gen 3 v 17 </li></ul>
  5. 5. WORK: Back about as far as we can go 2. <ul><li>Archaeologists tell us that uncivilised cave man ‘worked’ for perhaps 2.5 hours a day to feed, clothe and shelter himself. He: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>did what he wanted, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when he wanted, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how he wanted, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where he wanted, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>…… if he felt like it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apparently we are now ‘civilised’ and as such we routinely: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commute an hour or more to work at our own expense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work 7 hours a day plus reasonable (unpaid) overtime as professionals with little or no choice or control over the what, when, where, how (and no authority to question the ‘why’ either.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ work’ perhaps 2 hours a day at home (Food, cleaning, DIY) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remind me again will you… who’s civilised….? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Self- Employment <ul><li>For most of pre-history & history, man worked for himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Man had choice and control over all aspects of work from conception to execution:- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Man normally utilised the product of his own work and knew the true cost and value of whatever he produced. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The recent rise of Employment <ul><li>The industrial revolution as late as the 18th & 19th century and the concomitant development of capitalism dramatically changed the ‘landscape of work’. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USA 1800 - 80% population self-employed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USA 1870 - 35% …………………………. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>…… 1970 - 10% (and falling) …………… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> 2000 --> Possible trend reversal? Why???? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Rise of Employment 2 <ul><li>“… the extraordinary power of the tendency of capitalist economies to convert all other forms of labour into hired labour …the worker enters the employment agreement because social conditions leave him or her no other way to gain a livelihood.” </li></ul><ul><li>Braverman (1974) Labour & Monopoly Capital </li></ul>
  9. 9. Rise of Employment 3 <ul><li>A consequence of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological innovations: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the harnessing of productive power </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>hydro , steam & electricity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>transport technologies (--> mass market access) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>railways and canals </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific advancement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new scales of engineering production </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The concept of Capitalism </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Winners and losers <ul><li>From this new ‘employment’ relationship : </li></ul><ul><li>The capitalist gets: </li></ul><ul><li>a malleable and almost infinitely adaptable component to be used at any point between raw material and output </li></ul><ul><li>The worker loses: </li></ul><ul><li>personal control (over when, where, how) </li></ul><ul><li>The worker is compensated for this loss by: </li></ul><ul><li>some degree of security </li></ul><ul><li>the monetary recompense </li></ul>
  11. 11. Consequences <ul><li>The reward for work is no longer the enjoyment of the production or the ownership of the product of that work (the right to use, enjoy and benefit from the output) but money. (Pavlov’s Dog syndrome?) </li></ul><ul><li>The individual’s acute knowledge of the personal cost of production disappears to be replaced only by price. </li></ul><ul><li>(Goodbye sustainability? What did Oscar Wilde say of ‘The Cynic’?) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Control <ul><li>The human component needed to be organised to produce, and, being as much a bought item as a machine or raw material, such organisation tended to become total control </li></ul><ul><li>This need to exercise control, coupled with quantum leaps in scale brought about by mass production and joint stock legislation often meant that ownership and control were no longer vested in the same personae --> a new creature, a new cadre: the employed manager. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Degree of Control <ul><li>The degree of control could be severe : </li></ul><ul><li>“ ..everyone was put under the same roof purely for the purpose of discipline so that the workers could be effectively controlled under the supervision of foremen… </li></ul><ul><li>..under one roof they could be started to work at sunrise and kept going until sunset barring periods for rest and refreshment…and under penalty of loss they could be kept going almost throughout the year.” </li></ul><ul><li>Gras : Industrial Revolution (1930) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Scientific Management & the Need to Control <ul><li>In the early part of the last century, dominated by the ethos of FW Taylor & ‘Scientific Management’, the need for such control was felt to be paramount : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Effective management implies control - the terms, in a sense, are interchangeable as management without control is not conceivable.” … Still true...?? </li></ul><ul><li>Leffingwell (1925) </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Sundering of Conception & Execution <ul><li>The sundering of task conception and execution was effectively performed by the ‘Division of Labour’ which sought to overturn the power and control of the age-old Craft Guild system: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The detailed division of labour into its constituent elements, which destroys occupations and renders the worker inadequate to carry through any complete production process …The main benefit of this to the capitalist was the revision to the payment system which could now be made. No longer was a skilled craftsman paid the skilled rate for all elements of the job - but a particular rate could be assigned to very small task areas according to skill level.” </li></ul><ul><li>Braverman 1974 </li></ul>
  16. 16. TheDivision of Labour Adam Smith v Krapotkin 1. <ul><li>Kropotkin (1906) in ‘The Conquest of Bread’ said of the Division of Labour and Adam Smith: </li></ul><ul><li>Having found it profitable ... capitalists set it up as a principle . </li></ul><ul><li>Smith hastened to the conclusion:&quot;Divide labour, specialize, go on specializing; let us have smiths who only know how to make heads or points of nails, and by this means we shall produce more. We shall grow rich…. Long live the division of labour. This is the real gold-mine that will enrich the nation!&quot; </li></ul>
  17. 17. TheDivision of Labour (DoL) Adam Smith v Krapotkin 2. <ul><li>In contrast to Smith, Kropotkin observed DoL rather differently and saw it as offensive: “ The ideal of modern industry is a child tending a machine that he cannot and must not understand , and a foreman who fines him if his attention flags for a moment. The ideal of industrial agriculture is to do away with the agricultural labourer altogether and to set a man who does odd jobs to tend a steam-plough or a threshing-machine. The division of labour means labelling and stamping men for life --some to splice ropes in factories, some to be foremen in a business, others to shove huge coal-baskets in a particular part of a mine; but none of them to have any idea of machinery as a whole, nor of business , nor of mines. And thereby they destroy the love of work and the capacity for invention that, at the beginning of modern industry, created the machinery on which we pride ourselves so much.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Managers: more equal than workers? <ul><li>Determining the nature of work, who should do it, how it should be done and the rate of pay according to skill level was now become the province of ‘management’ : </li></ul><ul><li>“ All planning that was done by the workman as a result of his personal experience must, of necessity, under the new system, be done by management in accordance with the laws of science …. It is clear that in most cases one type of man is needed to plan ahead and an entirely different one to execute the work.” </li></ul><ul><li>FW Taylor - Scientific Management </li></ul>
  19. 19. Complete sell-out / complete control 1. <ul><li>The need to co-locate work, the worker and management and to exercise complete control was never more clearly exemplified than in the ‘Company Town’ : Ambrose Crowley Ironworks had 1000 employees and a company ‘Book of Laws’ which cited that the firm provided: </li></ul><ul><li>“ A doctor, clergyman, 3 schoolmasters, poor relief, pension & funeral scheme … and by his instructions and exhortations Crowley attempted to dominate the spiritual life of his ‘flock’ and to make them into willing cogs in his machine. ….. </li></ul><ul><li>It was his intention that their whole life - including their sparse spare time (they worked 80 hours a week) should revolve around making the works profitable.” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Complete sell-out / complete control 2. <ul><li>Against Crowley’s Company Town...what of today’s: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dress down Fridays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office canteen (free / subsidised) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free sports club memberships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private health insurance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continued Professional Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they seem so new or quite so philanthropic now??? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the following ‘modern’ initiatives all about? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-skilling ….. job enlargement... job rotation & sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>quality circles --> TQM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How much of all this is modern ‘innovation’ and how much ‘rediscovery’ or righting management wrongs/failure??? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Complete sell-out / complete control 3. <ul><li>Flexitime: …and the winner is????... </li></ul><ul><li>The Employee: </li></ul><ul><li>acquires a limited degree of flexibility and control over when hours of work are delivered. </li></ul><ul><li>allows hours in credit to be exchanged for time in lieu (subject to carry-over limits and management permission). </li></ul><ul><li>Total hours remain unchanged. …. (Good eh???.) </li></ul><ul><li>The Employer: </li></ul><ul><li>retains guarantee of work in critical ‘core time’ </li></ul><ul><li>workers tend naturally to run up credit hours when workload is high and take time off when load is low . </li></ul><ul><li>overtime is not paid for critical extra, pressurised hours </li></ul><ul><li>workers are not paid to ‘sit around’ …. THE BOSS!! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Accidents of History? <ul><li>Essentially, what we have today in the corporation and organisation, is the result of a history of choices, innovations, changing management theories applied, learning and correction - some of it with rather ‘dark’ overtones: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Modern management came into being … to ensure that as a ‘craft’ declined, the worker would sink to the level of a general and undifferentiated labour power, adaptable to a large range of simple tasks, while as science grew it would be concentrated in the hands of ‘management”. Braverman. (1974) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Summary of Changes
  24. 24. A Thought? <ul><li>Is sustainability on a ‘losing wicket’ because the capitalist system has created a situation where our ability to produce (and the need to sell to provide profits and growth) exceeds our ‘natural’ inclination to consume ? The only way to achieve such production goals / growth is for the ‘system’ to fuel ‘unnatural’ consumption activity by getting us to willingly discard and replace perfectly serviceable items . </li></ul><ul><li>How? By designed-in physical obsolescence coupled with endemic, ever-shorter-lived fashion and more powerful marketing. </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Challenge <ul><li>It doesn’t have to be this way … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mintzberg & Handy guru reversals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volvo antidote to production line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT in TUI ( Kim Juhrbandt) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the future filled with infinite information, the power and the glory will be with those who can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>think and analyse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>challenge and troubleshoot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be creative </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. The Challenge (contd). <ul><li>Just as the past represents the ripples of choices made and opportunities foregone which lap upon the shore of our present … the future is not given and pre ordained: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we may have more powerful, faster chips, but in what ways can we use them in theory and will we use them in practice? (Diffusion and adoption issues) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We may have the canvas and the paints, but what we chose to paint is up to us : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we can learn from the ‘old masters’ but sticking to their style and slavishly copying is neither creative nor fulfilling, and is likely to be out of touch with the audience. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. The Challenge (contd 2). Remember this? There is no right and wrong : it’s all a question of how you read it and whether you can justify and gain support for your viewpoint. Progress depends upon you doing this. You have the right to read it YOUR way…if you have the justification and to lead if you have the power, position & persuasion.
  28. 28. The Challenge (contd 3). The millennial discontinuity Not only is it the role and duty of successive generations to test and question ‘received wisdom’ with a view to adding to and improving upon it where appropriate, your generation, perhaps as no other in time, has come to the zenith of its powers at the turn of the millennium where societies worldwide for psychological, sociological, historical, cultural and religious reasons are seeking change accompanied by justice and equity. There is, for this reason, perhaps a seemingly greater pressure for such change to be forthcoming than ever before … and in this age of expectancy and instant gratification people will be looking to your generation to provide it . In that sense, perhaps your duty and responsibility to challenge the prevailing order and way of thinking creatively and constructively is the greater.
  29. 29. Ben Okri : extracted from his ‘Mental Flight : An anti-spell for the 21st century’ Sunday Times 3/1/99 ..Will we allow ourselves merely to drift / into an era of more of the same / An era drained of significance, without shame / Without wonder of excitement / just the same low-grade entertainment / An era boring and predictable / Flat stale and unprofitable / In which we drift / In which we drift along / Too bored and too passive to care / About what strange realities rear / their heads in our days and nights / Till we awake too late to the death of our rights / Too late to do anything / Too late for thinking / about what we have allowed / to take over our lives / While we cruised along in casual flight / mildly indifferent to storm or sunlight. Or might we choose to make / this time a waking up event / A moment of world empowerment / To pledge in private, to be more aware / more playful, more tolerant and more fair,/ More responsible, more wild more loving / Awake to our unsuspected powers, more amazing. / We rise or fall by the choice we make / It all depends on the road we take / And the choice and the road each depend / On the light that we have, the light we wend / On the light we use / or refuse /. On the lies we live by and from which we die. Every moment thus carries / the monumental in the ordinary / Transcending the political / Hinting at the evolutionary …..
  30. 30. Parting Gesture “ If not me: who? If not now: when?”

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