Dealing with associates in the emerging century is going to be more difficult than in the past. The pyramidal organization structure we relied on to get work done for more than two hundred years is changing under our feet. The ?top down? authority organization we are so familiar with is far less dominant than it was. There are reasons for this management evolution.
Institutions and business firms are like living organisms. When their survival is threatened, they adapt. The traditional pyramidal structure is changing in response to technology and pressure from abroad. The need to handle exceedingly large and complex projects in efficient and creative ways has brought about decision structures and information channels not welcomed earlier.
Not long ago, ?top-down? authoritative management ruled; now, the importance of real-time knowledge in making sound decisions has moved the flow of information in the opposite direction. Executives in charge know they cannot make prudent strategic or operational decisions without current information and ideas from below. They need input from those who interact daily with other groups or departments and with the world outside.
Those in charge are now less able to put together a picture of reality from a desk on a higher floor or from a knowledge base that provides limited visibility. Their best source of information comes from those closest to the changing marketplace or technical environment. When organizational wisdom came from the top down, there was little need to negotiate differences. Mavericks with other views were not welcome. The top was heard and listened to. The middle and bottom were expected to do as they were told.
Now few, if any, top managers have the broad knowledge necessary to cope with the pressures imposed by today?s major economic and technical trends. An organization is likely to do poorly if it fails to allow those below to be heard and express themselves without fear of censure. Differences will surely come up.
The way to resolve them is not by assigning fault or inducing fear, but through collaboration and negotiation.
Thanks for visiting! If you enjoyed this post, you can learn many more useful negotiation tips through our free download of Negotiating Tips.