Hard Work and Efficient Management = Success? LO28339

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 04/29/02

Replying to LO28322 --

Dear Organlearners,

Hanching Chung <demingtw@ms17.hinet.net> writes:

>This subject could be extended to other interesting
>and related areas, for example, the so called
>"writer's block".

Greetings dear Hanching,

Thank you for having articulated exactly what I have felt during that
seminar and afterwards -- a "manager's block".

The reason why I have asked you fellow learners for inputs on this topic
is to make sure by your replies that I am not having self an "observer's

A friend of mine was working for a large company involved in the heavy
industry. It had about half a dozen factories situated all over our
country. For some fifty years the factory managers came out of the factory
ranks self. They were usually engineers (although a few scientists from
the research department and a few clerks from the administrative
department also made it) after having qualified themselves further in
managerial science. That company was growing all the time.

The executive team began to appoint "pure managers", i.e., people who had
a good management record in several other companies, but knew nothing of
the company's production lines. It was like letting someone fly an
aeroplane who have only a driver's licence for a car or to expect a
painter to compose also music for being an artist. The company began to
make losses, so much so that it had to "moth ball" two of its factories,
waiting for better times.

My friend, a scientist, and several enigineers left the company because
they had no hope any more of becoming a factory manager.

>We could make some surveys about the approaches
>took by the writer or artists to cope with this kind of
>barrier or crisis. I had an impression that many writers
>adopt keeping on writing or creating patiently to prepare
>for the "flow" or "inspiration" back. Of course, different
>people, different situations and different approaches.

I wonder whether managers are aware of a "manager's block"? If they are, I
wonder how they come out of it?

I am deeply aware of having from time to time a "teacher's block".
Invariably it is caused by me knowing too little of the learner. To
overcome this "teacher's block" I set myself the task to know the learner
better, i.e., learn from the learner. To say it in a rather ugly metaphor,
but perhaps it makes my point -- the learner has a knowledge factory and I
need to know how that specific learner's factory works before I can manage
it, despite all my teaching skills of the past.

I cannot recall whether I thought about this that evening during the
seminar. I wish I had because as I now think of it, that manager thought
that the very nature of the organisation had nothing to do with his
managerial skills.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> 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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