Why do companies struggle with decreased productivity and low engagement?
- Does low engagement lead to low productivity, or does low productivity result in low engagement as people are pressured to do more with less?
- Neither – there are common root causes, which are undue complexity and lack of cooperation. Lack of cooperation increases resource consumption and complexity.
- We tend to rely on a combination of both “hard” and “soft” management approaches to manage these issues, both of which are obsolete. The hard approach only creates more complexity, and the soft approach incorrectly assumes we need to get people to like each other and get along to cooperate.
- Our real battle is not against competitors, but against our own complexity and bureaucracy.
In order to manage complexity without creating complexity, he offers these six rules:
- Understand what others do – the real content
- Reinforce integrators – managers who have power and interest to make others cooperate
- Increase total quantity of power – give more power everybody to use their judgment and intelligence
- Increase the shadow of the future – create feedback loops that expose people to the consequences of their actions
- Increase reciprocity – remove the buffers that make us self-sufficient
- Reward those who cooperate – remove those who do not cooperate