Management style, common error to avoid


Management style, common error to avoid

Being a manager is a hard job, and it deals with cultural, economical, corporate issues and rules. But being a manager is indeed an important job usually performed with a not clear idea on what a manager should do.

We can find Bad and Good managers, and most of the times they do not even realize where they stand in the good or bad dashboard, because usually nobody teach you what to be a manger means.

Nevertheless there is a world of literature on management, so If someone really want to improve from naïve management style to something more consistent, there are plenty of tools. Even at corporate level those readings should be useful, but, alas too this does not happen.

Let me point out some of the weirdest aspects of being a manager nowadays.

What a manager should be

The main reason a company need a manager is because the company is in need to manage resources.

Resources are Human resources, Budgets, process and activities.

In the very description of manager there is the concept of delegation, a manager should receive a delegation from the company to manage some tasks and related resources.

Of course in an Ideal world the company commitment to the manager and the commitment to the manager to its people are plain clear and effective.

The truth is always different, and the reasons rely on the fact that:

  • • We do not live in a perfect world
  • • A company is not a deterministic entity; political issues, personal interests, group interests all drive to unpredictable results
  • • Communication is all but clear in terms of effectiveness and reach (not to mention cultural and linguistic problem)
  • • Culture is a big word that contains a lot of issues (company culture, country culture, personal culture…)
  • • ….

This makes the Management a tough job.

It was mentioned that a bad management attitude can affect job result and increase turnover. People leave in first instance managers than companies.

But since the environment is not so clear manager have to find a first issue: understand what the company requires to him

It seems easy but the truth is that there are 3 different levels of understanding:

  •  What the company tells
  •  What the company wants
  •  What the company need

In a perfect world those 3 items would be coincident; in the real world those 3 items seldom are the same thing.

Diapositiva1

It is clear that for the company wellness the third level should be the good ones, so basically we can depict a quality manager based on its attitude toward the company.

An average manager does what the company tells himher to do

This is typically the case of accepting and following orders. The best way to be kept out of troubles, but with a minimum value added

A good manager does what the company wants himher to do

Since the communication is subject to political, linguistic and cultural issues, it is not always clear the link between what you have been asked to and what actually you should do.

Unwritten rules are common quicksand ground that marks the difference between what is told and what is really meant. Living in a multicultural environment enhances this difference by a great level of magnitude. So the good manager should be able to understand the message between the lines.

A great manager does what the company needs himher to do

But sometimes what is told and what is requested from the company is not in the best interest for the company itself. There can be different reasons for that; may be lack of visibility and experience of the higher levels (hierarchy does not mean you know better than everyone the issues), errors, lack of vision, poor execution or simply bad management.

So a great manager should be able to do what it is needed, even if this can break some company rules.

I know that in some culture this is barely acceptable, but the truth is that if you do not do this you are responsible for the bad results.

And manager responsibility is not only towards higher hierarchy level but foremost to hisher own group.

Type of management

Regardless of manager understanding of the corporate indication (or better higher hierarchy level indications) a manager has to, in the day by day job, try to manage people and resources. People are the most difficult things to be managed.

There are in literature thousands of good management indication, I want to focus on some common bad habit.

Diapositiva3

The control freak (The micromanager)

Micromanagement has a dual meaning in literature, for some it is just the attitude of a manager to go into every single detail.

This, per se, is not a bad thing if the manager uses this as:

  •  A positive attitude towards hisher team to teach and improve their job
  •  A superior knowledge on the subject

Commonly the micromanagement is, on the other end, associated with a completely different attitude.

Micromanagers are control freak managers that does not give any kind of trust and credit to their group.

Usually this goes with the absence of delegation and really hard, rude modes.

The basic idea of this kind of manager is that there is no other way to reach a goal than hisher way. And since heshe is the only depositary of the truth he has to impose his way to the others.

You know that kind of manager that calls you at 10 PM shouting because you haven’t answered him immediately?

Pressure is the only way this manager use to obtain results, and the pressure always rise, without any recognition or praise of his team job.

This is the same manager that watches your timetable, when you get in and when you get out. Blame for 5 minutes late and worse, consider unacceptable not overworking.

Monday meeting with this kind of manager is a nightmare, heshe will blame every single details.

Micromanagement culture is more related to production environments than knowledge workers. But this management culture is still prevalent.

The Autocrat

This kind of management style is the ones of the kind of manager that feels heshe has been invested in the role by a higher entity.

They are right because are the boss and not Boss because are right.

The position justifies the truthfulness of their statement, independently by the real status of the things of course).

The autocrat usually is also a micromanager, but not necessarily.

Again there is a lack of trust and delegation, but not all the compulsive control freak attitude of the previous one.

The main problem here rely on the absence of communication (communication is a bidirectional activity).

Since the autocrat rely on his position to justify hisher actions, no checking is needed but with the higher hierarchy levels. Blind acceptance of orders, received and given, is the trademark of this kind of manager.

The blame fixer

This is something we all have met in our life, not only between managers.

The blame fixer is that kind of managers that is able to move the fault to the next viable target. Usually heshe is a great company traveler, and a career climber because of this fine ability to discard every bad result on someone else shoulder.

The management style trademark is the motto

“I do not want problems, I want solutions”

That is common in management 

Blame fixer is a paper writer heavy requester, since everything has to be set up in order to pass the blame to someone else, proofs of activities are mandatory.

Of course the blame fixer do not give trust but does not consider trust as an issue, since heshe is politically committed to survive the corporate environment no matter what.

The soft heart

Not all the managers are rude and hard to live with. Some on the other end are kinds, open to discuss and even collaborative. The problem can rise up when they have to stand for their group.

Basically this management style relay in a perpetual state of denial in front of the problems, but this will turns as a backlash when the problem hit.

You can’t count on this manager to protect the group; he never fought before and does not see the needs to fights now.

He never discusses higher orders simply because it doesn’t want to expose himselfherself, as a result heshe accepts passively all indications. At the same moment poor management attitude bring this kind of manager to not teach nor develop its persons in order to avoid conflict and questions.

The politicians

Likewise the blame fixer, with which usually share lot of traits, the politician is that kind of manager whose interest is just to raise his career in the corporation, therefore make every move accordingly.

Anything and anyone are expendable for his agenda that is the only important thing. Basically this is a career obsessed kind of manager very willing to be helpful with higher hierarchy levels since the job will be done by someone in the team.

This is the kind of manager that never says no to any odd request, that always proactively volunteer hisher team to the craziest commitment.

Very pleasant and manipulative heshe always present himselfherself in friendly ways, but want to maintain a tight control on communication going outside the team to be able to better leverage the knowledge for hisher agenda.

The innovator

There is always a better way and I want to try it all. The innovator is a portrait of a strange kind of managers who loves to be surrounded by new things.

Heshe read a lot of books on management, open to try every new single procedure. Usually use the same approach also toward technology so it is a gadget freak with the last computer, phone, tablet, watch …..

Everything new worth to be tested, can be process, management styles, tools, virtually anything.

The problem with this management style is the lack of consistency. At every change the direction is somehow lost, and the time to adapt to changes is not always enough to actually being able to master something.

Conclusion

All this traits are not mutually exclusive; most of them are present in anyone of us. But in some managers some comes out more than others, making it the prevalent personality trait.

It is clear that all those aspects are, in literature, considered very bad for a company wellness and team effectiveness, as well it is the truth, as said before, that most of the managers do not read management literature.

Remain the fact that If a manager cannot control those aspect the management result are really poor, and this can long term affect the capacity of the company to reach goals and retain valuable resources.

What? The Pictures?

Got it, right I forgot one manager typology.

The Team builder

This is the kind of manager we all would like to have to work with. Open transparent make the team the focus of hisher management style. Hisher motto is always let’s doing it together.

Heshe is able to give trust and in return heshe gains respect and commitment from the team.

Heshe stands out for the team and try to do the best for the group and the company. On the other end this can put himher in open contrast with the company itself and so not really appreciated in a corporate environment.

Why Management is important

Managing people and resources is the way to obtain results. But the effectiveness depend on management style and manger ability.

Management is something that requires specific soft skills that goes beyond the technical area of expertise. Not all are meant to be a manager, which does not means that as sole contributors could give great input for the company.

But as a last statement I would like to tress an important aspect that should be clear to any manager at any level.

One of the key tasks for managers is the problem solving, this means that a manger have to be proactive part of any problem that rise, this is the pay off for its higher discretional delegation.

Most of the management styles we seen before in the article are seldom willingly trying to solve a problem, and therefore are bad managers for the company.

Diapositiva2

Remember:

A manager that is not a proactive part of the solution is part of the problem.

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Management style, common error to avoid was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The IoT Files – Infrastructure


The IoT Files – Infrastructure

IoT is a complex argument, we already know it. In my previous introductory post I tried to explain the privacy and security concerns that IoT is bringing to us (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/iot-files-privacy-antonio-ieranò).

Most of those concerns are intercnnected one to the other, but have also a strong relationship with the next point: the infrastructure needed.

With Infrastructure I refer to a lot of things, that goes beyond the simply technical aspect, because a real IoT infrastructure goes way beyond the access protocol or the wireless.

Wireless Outdoorsindoors Connections

But since we named Access protocols and wireless stuffs, let us talk about the first easy infrastructure need: connectivity.

In a IoT world devies need to be connected, and just a few of them will be able to connect trough a cable connection.

We can imagine a cable connection to our SCADA environment, sure, but things would be a little harder if we consider our smartwatch or our autonomous driving car, I can’t think we can go with an Ethernet cable connected on those devices :)

Connectivity will be an issue in IoT for several reason, and sometimes I got the impression we underestimate the issue.

Let’s think about our homes, they are in most of the case connection unfriendly. It is not just the level of connectivity and bandwidth offered by our provider (that will be object of a later point).

We should start to design new home with wireless point in mind, probably, and enough network power to get all connected, but what about the old ones (that are the majority?).

At the moment the offering is still way far to be exhaustive, some steps with power-line and home wireless have been done, but just to mention the security and privacy concerns we mention before, this is still not enough.

The routers we use in our homes are all but efficient, and surely not able to deal with hundreds of devices not in terms of connection nor in terms of protection.

But is when we go out our homes things get harder.

What we should expect? a wireless coverage of urban areas is something we can imagine, but as we go out the urban area things get harder. Of sure we can use our phone provider that offer connectivity (at the moment through 344.5 G) but will this enough?

does every device use a sim and a contract? and what happen when we need to go out our city or our country? will roaming hit us down?

Infrastructure from this point of view is all but simple, we need to be able to transport petabyte of data (is what billions of device connected means, my friends) in a multinational context, providing access to different devices with different capability.

Digital Divide

This will be a key factor that will make dramatically clear what is the digital divide. We are struggling with the digital divide so much today, the problem will be bigger in the IoT future, because if we are struggling to put in place the infrastructures now, how will happen when we will need bigger, faster, stronger and more complex infrastructures?

Large areas even in the more advanced countries will be cut out: countryside, mountain, islands…..

5G

The promise to mitigate those concerns is called 5G technology. But I want to be clear, %G is far to be a complete standardized technology at the moment, it is still under development and most of the issues we named for IoT are issues also for 5G, from access to security to business models….

I personally think that 5G will be a useful step forward, but will not replace the heterogenic  environment. wireless and ethernet will keep playing a big role and therefore interaction between the different technologies will be mandatory.

Bandwidth

Like it or not even in the 5G world we will have to fight the bandwidth problem, because this will be the issue. data requires bandwidth and IoT means data, without data IoT does not exist.

Bandwidth is not a easy issue, because it means how to prioritize traffic, how to manage traffic coming form different sources..and so on.

the amount of bandwidth available and its management will be a key issue, it require clear infrastructures and models we still lack.

E-Government

Even the government services will have to face the IoT revolution and become to be compliant, we cannot imagine that a life hyperconnected require a form manually compiled by the user, isn’t it? government infrastructure will have to shift dramatically towards a new model where informatization is not just a way to have more efficiency, but the only way to provide service.

It can not seems an infrastructural problem, unless you remember your experience when dealing with a government office…we lack of tools (HWSW), personnel, culture, policies, knowledge..isn’t this infrastructure?

Old Issues

While we will deal with new issues we should not forget we have a lot of old issues to deal with that can make hard the transition to the IoT.

Let’s name a couple that are so big (and so neglected) that I am wondering why we still talk about IoT.

Old Issues – DNS

Billions of device will try to connect to the internet, every device will look for partners to communicate. Unless we think all those device have hardcoded the partner address (wich is unlikely and highly impractical for a thousand of good reasons, one for all, flexibility) the device will need to translate a logical address to an IP address.

This service, nowadays, is done by DNS infrastructure. The DNS infrastructure is an area of big concerns, because it is subject to attacks, it is easily victim of geopolitical issues (a government closing the root, as an example) or poisoning entire zones for censorshipmass spying issues.

At the moment DNS around the world are really in a bad condition, mot of the carriers that offer DNS resolutions does not even size them proèperly, not talking about protecting. the reason is that DNS resolution service is not perceived as a key aspect, and it is not direct source of revenues.

If for a security perspective something is moving, with the DNS-SEC extensions, form a performance side this is still a pain in the butt. most of the time when you blame your provider for bandwith, if your page does not load is because of the poor DNS resolution service.

In a world of billions of devices this infrastructure, easy prediction, will collapse. Name resolution will need a support, what I am afraid is the developing of custom made legacy protocols (peer to peer style) that will address the problem in the lack of a commonly accepted solution, this will affect security and interoperability of IoT.

So if you think DNS is not a problem in IoT will be.

TCPIP

But DNS is a victim of a deeper problem, we all know that TCPIP v4 will not be able to scale to the IoT, but where we are not with TCPIP v6? let’s face the truth, we are still at the beginning, This is a big infrastructure concerns, because most of the infrastructure are not yet ready to move to IPv6, otherwise we will be already there.

There are big issues related to legacyold hardware, lack of knowledge form the technical people, absolutely not understanding form the decision makers that does not consider it an issue. so we are, in short terms, in a big sea of troubles at the moment.

When we talk about infrastructure we have always the same issue: who will pay for them?

we have to realize that all the needed infrastructure for IoT comes at a cost that someone has to pay.

Public and private will have to find a way to deal with this, because big investment will be needed.

Another painpoint is the timing: how long this infrastructure need to be set up? If prevision say we will have billions of devices for the 2020, I suppose those infrastructure will be ready for that time.

But wait, we are in 2016 now, and I can’t yet see thos ebig investment to cover and solve the issues we talked before. so may be the time will be an issue we will see sooner or later.

And we should remember that the infrastructures needed aren’t local ones, but international. Lack of standards, agreements will make it harder.

So we are seeing a big opportunity as well as a big headache.

but cheer up, as murphy told us, smile tomorrow will be worse.

next IoT files on Business models…..

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The IoT Files – Infrastructure was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

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