The Best Management Is No Management

“I give you permission to slap me in the face if I’m micromanaging you.” I told my colleagues recently.

Extreme?

Late last year I was invited to talk to a group of students of a newly minted Innovation major from CETYS University. During said talk I invited all of them to join Netek, because I wanted them to experience what it’s like to work in an environment where everyone is the best version of themselves everyday.

A little background…

One of the reasons I became an entrepreneur during college is because my experience as an employee was negative. I was put into a box, had no autonomy and my superiors put limits on me.

I promised myself to never do that to others. So, my logic for opening the doors to students is simple: don’t go to place where your potential is limited by what is written in your resume.

Not so at Netek. You will learn how to create, launch and iterate a product. You will learn how to collaborate with users of said product, and you will learn how to connect the value proposition with the market; and create a new market.

This is not a normal situation.

Shocked, a couple of them reached out to me and took my word for it. On their first day on the job they were shocked even more to find out how work gets done at Netek. They were expecting command and control, limitations, buttoned up people staring at their screens all day! Instead, they found a very different atmosphere from a traditionally run organization.

Less management, more leadership

There is a vast difference between traditionally run organizations and innovation driven ones:

New Rules of Management

Earlier in my career I had a huge lesson in leadership: I failed at creating more leaders.

The organization became dependent on me, and failed. I reflected on that experience and promised myself to never repeat the same mistake. So, my motivation is to enable others in the organization to think and act like CEO’s.

With that said, it’s about autonomy for me; which starts with trust. You gain trust by giving it. So if I’m micromanaging you, it’s because I can’t trust you. That’s a problem.

Organizations that still operate by the industrial mindset of command and control, management by threats, and other tactics are all about over managing; which doesn’t breed innovation.

Innovation is not business as usual, and a culture reflects that. Whether you want to attract and develop the best talent, how you organize yourself matters. Innovation driven companies don’t fit people into boxes and mandate them to outperform themselves and everyone else. Instead, they create an environment where there’s trust between people and open lines of communication; that establishes the precedent for everything else.

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