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REAL-WORLD MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES (As Opposed to the Crap You Tell Your Staff)

Posted in management book,satire,work by YTAH on August 26, 2008
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A book extract courtesy of Vitriol McMalice

This month’s extract comes from

Chapter 1: Dealing with staff requests.

Perils await the unwary manager around every corner...

Perils await the unwary manager around every corner...

One of the first things you will need to do as manager is to come up with a carefully designed procedure for dealing with staff requests. This is a complicated but necessary task, as inopportune and embarrassing staff requests can come in numerous forms and may arrive at your doorstep via many different forums. Thanks to the increased accessibility offered by e-mail, cell phones, PDAs, fax machines, and other state-of-the-art technologies, a new and challenging staff request lurks around every corner, seeking whomsoever an unwary manager it may devour. No longer safe in your office, thanks to ever-intrusive technology, your seclusion is under constant threat from selfish and inconsiderate subordinates clamoring for your attention, despite your indubitable superiority over them and the mundane matters with which they concern themselves.

With the advent of the open-plan office, it has become easier to avoid the unwanted attentions of all those nasty, grubby employees. Simply by staying inside your well-barricaded office at the top of the building, away from puny underlings and protected by bullet-proof, soundproof glass, sub-machine gun pointing at the door, and Wagner playing at full blast in the empty floor that separates you from their tawdry existence, you can significantly lower your chances of having to suffer through inadvertent and unwelcome meetings with employees. Moreover, by instituting an intricate system of monitoring and surveillance, it is possible to time one’s ingress and egress in such a way as to avoid any contact with “fellow human beings” whatsoever.

However, chances remain that you may inadvertently run into one of these inferior beings that line the corridors below you through circumstances entirely beyond your control, such as the tardy arrival of a sanitation technician in response to a janitorial emergency, requiring an unscheduled visit to the communal ablution facilities.

...but proper precautions can prevent unnecessary unpleasantness.

...but proper precautions can prevent unnecessary unpleasantness.

(Needless to say, these visits should be avoided at all costs, as staff should under no circumstances be given the idea that their managers ablute in the same way as their inferiors. Moreover, any employee who chances to observe evidence to the contrary should be disposed of immediately and permanently. No form of bribery or threat should be substituted in this instance, as this always leads only to more difficulties.)

In the events of such an unfortunate nature as a subordinate availing themselves of an opportunity to issue a request to management, speedy action is required if one wishes to avoid repercussions of cataclysmic proportions; and an effective, efficient, and above all consistent procedure for handling such catastrophes is an indispensable tool for preventing disasters of this nature. This procedure should be streamlined, easily to implement, and apply to any conceivable situations that you will encounter in your role as manager.

When faced with such a daunting task as devising a change-request procedure, it would be easy to become despondent, and to fret needlessly about the possible dangers of miscalculation. But fear not, fellow managers, because you hold in your hands the secret to success in the art of discombobulating. I am of course referring to this very volume that you are now grasping between your managerial digits. Thanks to our extensive experience in the realm of managerial concerns, we have devised an infallible procedure, based on an extensive analysis of the behaviors of management in real-world scenarios.

Our research has shown that despite environmental, economic, or geographical differences, all managers instinctively follow the same procedure, which we have now identified and further refined into a transparent and easy-to-follow set of steps which the wise manager would do well to implement without fail. You should follow these steps regardless of your company’s needs, your staff requirements, or even the nature of the request.

CALCULATING VALUE TO BUSINESS

To begin, you should assess the impact of the change on normal business procedure and the staff environment. So when you receive a request, you should determine whether, and to what extent, the proposed change will:

1. improve efficiency (for example, by removing unnecessary or superfluous steps in a process)
2. increase general job satisfaction
3. eliminate illogical, stupid, or pointless traditions that have been followed blindly as a matter of course

Calculations.

Calculations.

You should assign each of these a value on a fixed scale – say, from 1 to 5. (We recommend that you assign a value of 1 for minimal improvement, and for 5 maximum improvement, to ensure that the change with the greatest effort quotient attains the highest score.) Once you have done this, you add the first two benefits and multiply it by the third benefit, and then multiply the result by a random number, which is always 4³.

If one assumes that the highest score is 5, then the maximum score derived from the formula (1+2) * 3 * 4³ thus far would be 6,250. The next step is to determine the extent to which it will impact on you, the manager. To do this, you establish:

1. how much time the request took you to listen to or read
2. the time it took you to apply the previous formula
3. how long it will take you to draft a response
4. whether this proposed process change derived from you
5. the extent to which the person’s outlook on life differs from yours
6. the extent of your personal dislike of the person’s dress sense

You grade each of these considerations and apply the following formula: ((1*2)*(3*4)+(5*6))*7. Assuming that you were still using the same 1 – 5 scale, the maximum score for this formula is 3,750. Once you have determined the change’s impact on current procedure and management interests, you can add the two scores together, which would leave you with a maximum score (using the 5-point scale) of 10,000, which you can then evaluate to determine whether or not to implement the requested change. If the score is below 500, it would be acceptable to make the change. Any score between 500 and 1021 indicates that the change is possible but undesirable, and any score above 1,021 indicates that the change is wholly undesirable.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line.

The bottom line.

Now, the procedure as outlined above may seem like a long and arduous process to follow, requiring not only numerous information-gathering tasks but also complex calculations. Indeed, if you truly have management potential, you have probably skipped past all that complicated mathematics and proceeded straight to this paragraph. Because all true managers are interested in one thing, and one thing only: that’s right, the bottom line. What is the bottom line, you ask yourself, for deciding how to deal with a staff member’s request for a raise, or an clearly-defined accountability process, or a new computer, or a working phone? You would never get any work done if you had to complete these difficult tasks for every stupid request your incompetent, lazy, Commie staff will doubtlessly be sending you every 5 minutes (as if dealing with staff requests and complaints was your job!!!).

However, our research into this process has revealed another useful and fascinating fact, which will immeasurably ease your job as a manager. We have found that, regardless of the situation, and using the 5 point scale, the answer for this equation is always 10,000.

Since I assume that you haven’t actually wasted time reading all the preceding paragraphs, allow us to summarize: a careful analysis of how real-world managers apply this formula, based on our extensive research, reveals that despite what logic, common sense, and an understanding of basic human dignity may lead you to believe, it is never desirable to make any change requested by any staff member under any circumstances.

avoid it

Technology: avoid it

However, by contrast, any idea that comes to you – regardless of how stupid, inane, or pointless it may at first appear to others – is obviously desirable and should always be implemented speedily, efficiently, and without any objections, amendments, consultation, or arguments from anyone. Indeed, as its merits are entirely above question, its implementation should take priority over any other task at hand, including the recommended notification process normally associated with any changes requested by your stupid, stupid workers. (Indeed, when dealing with management-side change implementation, the notification process can usually be left until the evaluation stage, whereupon you may bitterly complain about your employees’ failure to correctly and fully implement the changes that you desired.) Any dissenters should be crushed and, if possible, have their pensions redirected into managerial salaries.

IN CONCLUSION

An essential step in maintaining this strategy is to always follow this procedure implicitly, even blindly, without the distractions involved in considering irrelevant external factors such as human emotion, sympathy, or logic. Now, we’re not saying it’s going to be easy. It’s always a temptation to let logic or goodwill override your God-given managerial wisdom. However, succumbing to this unnecessary emotionality is a rookie mistake, and such errors should be avoided at all costs.

[Remains copyright of the author.]

[Originally posted on www.africans.co.za, Tuesday 26 August 2006.]

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