Management and Responsibility
It is rare indeed when the general blames the soldier for the loss. We see it though. Of course, I am not referring to actual generals as in the military but the leadership of an organization. There are many ways the leadership influences the outcome more than a single or couple of employees.
Management and Talent
Managers are responsible for the hiring for the organization, coupled with the Human Resource Department. There is likely a screening of sorts, perhaps even multiple screenings as part of the interviewing process to ensure we select the best candidate. Perhaps panel screenings, drug tests, domain experience tests, and many other ways to determine the interviewee is suitable for our organization.
Management and Organizational Culture
Managers and the executive leadership establish the culture for the organization, also influenced by the hiring. Perhaps they want an organization with a strong basis on facts. Perhaps the company values political tact over plain speaking. What the company says it desires with words will have to match the values of the company? I know that a company is not a monolithic representation of values; however, as an aggregate what the company stands for should be clear to the employees. Discrepancy between words and actions will at best cause confusing and at worst direct employees to a new unintended value of the organization.
Management and Oversight
Managers provide some oversight for the organization. This is part of their contract with shareholders. The nature of work is changing, no doubt. Some companies have embraced self-directed work teams and have empowered the employee, but that is not an abdication of oversight responsibility, but more of a transition to how to achieve the end objective of oversight. Instead of commanding by executive fiat, there is more of a guiding hand at work, a participation approach in which the manager and the employees learn about the trials and risks, and work to find satisfactory approaches and answers. Management also guides the organization by setting goals and metrics, thinking about unintended consequences of those metrics, and the validity of any measurements.
In the end
In the end management has a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal to guide and influence the organization’s behavior. In the end, management works through employees to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Hearing the voice of management blame the muted voice of the employee is not encouraging and should cause us to pause. After all, if an employee, in defense refutes these claims, they are contradicting the management “message” and will likely end up fired. Is this really the “message” we should send about our organization?