Theory U and Theory T

Good articulation of McGregor X & Y Theory and nice addition by having the U and T. The full article can be read on Booz&Company here.

“Management theory books and disaster films have something in common. Both confront the prospect of the near-total destruction of life as we know it. In the movies, the hero invariably realizes what must be done and saves the world just before the credits roll. In management books, the chosen manager masters the correct theory just in time to avert business catastrophe. On screen, happy endings are unremarkable — it’s just entertainment, after all. But in the real world, real companies make real decisions based on the theories authors propose in their management books. Why should one assume that things always end well?

The Real Reason Your Boss Is a Bully

“More than one-third of workers in the United States have been pushed around by upper management, meaning their bosses have belittled, sabotaged, or yelled at them, according to a study from research firm Zogby International and the Workplace Bullying Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness of threatening behavior at work. This paper, based on four different studies involving nearly 400 participants, finds that abusive bosses are driven by more than just ambition and the need to feel powerful (as previous theories have supposed). In fact, the authors conclude that aggressive behavior on the part of managers is often the result of self-recognized incompetence; in other words, vindictive bosses may be in over their heads — and their feelings of inadequacy cause them to take out their frustrations on subordinates.

The studies included an experiment in which participants, through a writing exercise, were made to feel either skilled or inadequate at their jobs. Subsequently, they were told that they could choose either a quiet buzzer or a loud horn to notify a subordinate that his or her answer to a question was incorrect. The “incompetent” cluster largely opted for a loud blast from the horn. In another experiment, participants received either an ego boost or criticism about their leadership abilities. Then, in a role-playing exercise, they portrayed teachers who were given the option of helping or hindering a student’s chance to win US$20 by correctly answering a series of questions. Those with bruised egos were more likely to sabotage the student’s opportunity by selecting more difficult questions.

Bottom Line: Fear of incompetence is more likely than a desire for power to drive many aggressive bosses to bully their subordinates.”

Money Is Not The Best Motivator

This article could possibly be one of the best I’ve read in motivational theories and practices. The authors; Katzenbach and Khan, had articulated the importance of emotional motivation wonderfully, especially in their discussion of the young lady at the Marines. Undoubtedly, I am one of the fans of the non-monetary motivational school. Managers have to quit the idea that money only motivates people. It is not the only, it is one of the means to motivate people. In my daily discussions with peers and superiors, I frequently refer to this idea and try to portray an implementation of the famous Maslow Pyramid into this understanding and into understanding what motivates people and how to best attend to these. Different people, at different organizational positions have different motivational needs, and their managers should address such needs appropriately.

Katzenbach and Khan focus on this article is to simply tell that money is not always the solution, emotional and pride-based motivation does do the job as well. Basically, I prefer to look into it from different perspective, the perspective of Abraham Maslow. Maslow pyramid (to refresh your mind) is depicted as follows:

Forbes: To Succeed You Must Seriously Disrupt

As rightly Adam Hartung wrote: “We are taught, trained and indoctrinated to go along and get along, to not disrupt. In fact we’re constantly told to seek harmony”, though we live in a dynamic, continually changing world. Challenging status-quo is something leaders consistently emphasize on. change is live, and as said; if you stop changing; you die.

What’s important in Hartung article is not only the action of disruption and the status quo challenge, it is the perseverance and patience such change and bold moves require. Such disruption at Sun, or Honda, the two cases Hartung articulated requires taking long breathe and hold it for years, for fruitful results to unveil. It requires courage and momentum, it requires sacrifice and pain, it requires energy and energizers. How many leaders and companies do you think will have such mysterious blend! How many supportive boards executives are there!… Eventually, it narrows down to instilling a leadership, or say, disruptive culture at first place, so such bold moves and actions are welcome and entertained.

Here is snapshot from Hartung article, while you can visit Forbes to get it in full.

“From the day we start kindergarten we fear the teacher’s call to our parents saying, “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I’m sorry to tell you that Mary has been disruptive in class.” We are taught, trained and indoctrinated to go along and get along, to not disrupt. In fact we’re constantly told to seek harmony. But in business that can destroy your entire value.