Replying to LO28283 --
Ian Saunders < firstname.lastname@example.org > writes:
>It is a long time since I have replied to any messages.
Greetings dear Ian,
We are all glad that you are back into writing.
>This one quickly gained my interest because you
>described a situation that on the face of it seemed
>good, positive and forward looking and yet let a
>big cloud of unease.
You summarised my contribution correctly which makes me happy. I was not
sure that I would communicate exactly what happened there. Obviously, most
of the unease was in me, although after the meeting I saw some others were
>It seems to me from your description that the
>manager was indeed doing many things right.
>Allowing time for questions, being well prepared
>etc. AND it seems that he had already made up
>his mind about the style with which he wanted to
>proceed. Hard work and perseverance.
You are correct. He even invited brainstorming, but within what he (and
the majority of managerial schools) consider as effective management.
>In my opinion hard work and perseverance are
>valuable attributes and not the only ones that have
>value. This is so because not everyone has them
>naturally and in insisting that they predominate you
>exclude people with out them. So his attempts to
>include his work force will have failed because he
>paid too much attention to a limited set of traits or
The manager stressed many attributes of value for the organisation. I can
still remember some of the transparencies he projected on the screen. What
worried me, is that he stressed that when "hard work" and "efficient
management" do not solve the organisation's problems, perseverance
("uithou") with it will do so.
>When creating organisation cultures - in general -
>it is advantageous to allow for a range of personal
I did not mention it, but he did had one transparency on personal styles.
He even thought of this -- that is why I have said that he is a text
book's model. In that transparency he stressed things such as
friendlyness, neatness and responsiveness whatever the personal style.
>Hard work and perseverance often lead to the
>exclusion of the unusual, the unexpected and the
>maverick intend which in problematic situations
>is often just what is needed to help move things
Now you are articulating some of the feelings which I had that evening. He
was very tolerant to the questioning of his system/model of efficient
management, but kept on promising that this system will solve the
problems, provided "hard work" and "perseverance" go with it. I did not
want to use the concept "treasure map", but he was offering "efficient
management" as the "treasure map" to the seminar.
>Focusing on hard work and perseverance to
>the exclusion of other attributes is the easy and
>flawed way out of tough situations.
One thought which flashed through my mind that evening is why does he not
allow for creativity which goes beyond his system of "efficient
management". I now get the idea that he believes that managerial science
per se will solve the organisation's problems without having to rely on
the innate creativity of the people of that organisation. All which he
wanted from them is hard work and perseverance, not their creativity.
The problem which I have, is that that evening everything seemed nebulous
to me. And I must stress that I might self be the very cause of that
I have mention on occasions that I became a diabete through a bout of flu
two years ago. Unfortunately, I happened to be allergic to medicine for
diabetes as well as insulin. (The strange thing is that as soon as the
doctor knew this, I stopped existing to him. He could have said in so much
words "The medical practice has no solution for your problem. Go away and
prepare for your death.") Fortunately, I am a chemist with a lot of
experience in the nutrition of plants and animals. I knew that I had to
solve my problem self if I want to stay alive. I had to get any source of
glucose (and other cyclic sugars) out of my diet. So I began with a
protein diet -- eggs, chess, fish, meat, beans, peas, etc.
It caused two problems which I could not foresee at that time. The one is
that insoluble phosphates would form in my bladder. The other one is that
magnesium and calcium ions would be extracted from my body. A calcium
deficiency leads to cramps and eventualy the weakening of bones. A
magnesium deficiency leads to inefficiency of letting oxygen in the
mitochondria of cells burn up fuel, whether carbohydrate or protein. So by
the evening I feel how the power of my body and mind drains away.
Sometimes I fell in a coma when not listening to them telling me "go to
Thus it might very well be that on that evening my mental power was
already too low and thus caused the nebulous effect. But thinking about it
now, the manager behaved somewhat like my doctor did two years ago. He
could have said in so much words: "If managerial science has no solution
for our organisation's problems, then go and prepare for its death." Hell
(and pardon me for using this word because this is exactly how I now
think), did I not experience on several occasions in the deserts when I
did a stupid thing so that I was facing sure death, the only thing which
pulled me through was my own creativity.
Thank you again Ian for your input. If only this feeling of "between the
manager and the manager is a nebulous curtain" would go away.
With care and best wishes
At de Lange <email@example.com> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa
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