Instructional Designers: May The Force Multiplier Be With You (Part 2)

The Force Multiplier Effect: Part 2

How to build a team for force multiplier achievement? Let us first examine the two different management styles that are implemented in organizations today.

The first style is Authoritarian and is characterized by top down, one-way communication with high-order thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making reserved for the elites governing from the top-tier of the organization.

Command and control is the engine that drives authoritarian management. Think Soviet-style communism seeking to control the means of production and the thought processes of those governed. In authoritarian enterprises groupthink (just adopt the company vision and don’t make waves) is encouraged and rewarded.

Authoritarian management is a Didactic (lecturing) style of management. The audience is mostly passive and once informed of the decisions the team reacts to orders and does its best to carry them out. The members of the lower tiers of the hierarchy have less responsibility and less input on how the enterprise is run.

It is not surprising therefore that the lower echelons also have less “buy-in” or loyalty to the top members of the hierarchy and its strategy.

The lowest people on the totem pole are much less organized for optimization since they are isolated from the facts that the enterprise has at its disposal.

They have a “bottom of the well” view of company.

In this environment sycophancy and political behavior is valued and rewarded.

The second management style is Collaborative, which is a bottom-up, two-way communications environment where high-order thinking is created by all and for the benefit of all stakeholders: Directors, shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers.

Collaborative governance of an enterprise is mainly deployed by self-directed teams. It is maieutic (from the Greek for midwife) in style. Collaboration is the engine, and the operational key is taking small ideas, adding new knowledge and creating new, big ideas.

In a collaborative style of management facts are dealt with in the greater context since the team is given access to all but the most sensitive data on the company. This helps make meaning and crucially creates “buy in”.

“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” - Confucius, circa 450BC

Collaborative problem-solving makes optimal and leveraged use of people, diversity, information, and resources, and improves the odds of better decision-making.

When operating in teams, people are pro-active participants in company governance because they have a holistic view of company.

Even modern armies have devolved decision making down the hierarchy.

Why is this distinction important? Well, we are seeing the baton being handed from one generation to another very different cohort. The Baby Boomers, who range in age from 50 to 70, are retiring or retired and were comfortable executing orders from on high. The Millennials, who range in age from 15 to 35, are inheriting the task of running enterprises, and study after study is proving them to be a very, very different breed with very different aspirations and demands.

Millennials began entering the workforce in the mid to late nineteen nineties when technology became more widely distributed and the distinction between business and personal computing became blurred. They have lived in a state of continual computing for most of their lives. Sitting at the bottom of a well and looking up at a solitary circle of light is not a place they want to be.

They are known to need instant gratification and recognition. They are team oriented and thrive on collaboration. They need transparency and openness. 60% of them would rather work for less money in a job they love than much more income in a job they cannot stand. Millennials are free-thinkers and far fewer of them belong to a faith or a political party than any previous generation.

Despite being the generation having had the most money spent on their education in U.S. history, Millennials rank below their global peers in math, literacy, and the key 21st-century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments.

Which of these two management styles is going to be best suited to Millennials, Authoritarian or Collaborative? And which style is more likely to act as a force multiplier?

I have studied team behavior extensively, and worked with teams for most of my forty year business career. And my Terego Enterprise Training Methodology is a culmination of all that. It is Socratic inquiry in a team.

To learn how you can get a leg-up on the competition by implementing force multiplication teams quickly and inexpensively, click here.

Stay tuned for part 3 of the force multiplier effect.

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