Micro and Macro

Micro Management
The manager or the big boss, mostly the owner of the business in an SME, takes care of everything. Whether the matter is hiring the office boy or the head of marketing department, he conducts the interview. There is no delegation of responsibilities, or more important, trust in the middle management. In fact there are only two layers of management; the big boss and the rest of the people.

All day to day decisions pass through his head and hands. He is a stern believer of the carrot and stick methodology. Everyone is expected to carry out any task at anytime as the boss ‘wishes’. He will always complain about the lack of talented workers. The multinational next door is opening new branch/outlet every week but he cannot hire a good accounts clerk. High turnover of valuable people is another indication.

There are few problems with micro management:

  1. People don’t like being “commanded” all the time (unless they are ex-service men)
  2. Everyone in the company works only enough to save his skin and keep him or her in the job.
  3. No one takes initiative because no one is ready to bear the brunt if the initiative fails.
  4. You, the big boss, cannot leave office for extended periods because nothing will get done in your absence.

Micro management is a positive feedback system. The more you apply it, the more you are convinced that it is the right thing to do. The big boss is very very clear on what he thinks or what he wants but unfortunately does not know what his employees think or want. His life and those of his subordinates are miserable. Only big boss grows and that too with pain.

In his weekly message titled “Youth Crime“, Edward de Bono says, “There are two things which everyone needs. They are ‘significance’ and ‘achievement'”. The only ‘significance’ for subordinates is not being jobless and the only ‘achievement’ is the pay cheque.

Macro Management
Macro manager has enough vision, hunch and trust on subordinates. He delegates his work to them and lets them finish without any interference. His relationship with his subordinates is based on trust and care. Carets and sticks are rarely used.

This behavior of the big boss instills responsibility in subordinates who work hard to come up to the expectations of their manager. They are able to solve the problems themselves, take initiatives, enjoy their work and pride themselves of their work.

Interestingly macro management is positive feedback system too. The more you apply it, the more you believe in it. Everybody grows and everybody is happy.

The ‘significance’ for people is belonging to a great company. Their ‘achievement’ is working to the best of their abilities and getting things done on their own.

Thinking tools can help transform a micro manager into a macro manager.


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