Today let us talk about Kingdoms and Fiefs, of barons and serfs, political battles and power struggles. This is a story of epic battles between rulers who fight for power and recognition from their King. Rulers who use their peons and serfs to perform tasks which send them dangerously close to the other baron’s lands. So close in fact that they sometimes find themselves wandering into the other baron’s lands. When they are attacked by the other baron’s peons or even the Baron himself, they call to their lord and find little but yelling and punishment from him. Often the peon’s baron would refuse to acknowledge that he himself sent them on that mission. Sometimes while in the other baron’s land the peon might find a items or bauble that he likes. When the peons and baron of the other land hear about this, they demand that he gives it back. No matter if it is a nugget of gold or a pretty pebble. It is only worse if the thing will help the kingdom, for then each baron wants to be the one to present it to the king in hopes of a pat on the head or a new title with more land and peons to rule. Often, the barons care little about making life better for their peons or helping the kingdom to become better and stronger. Instead they care about increasing their land holdings, the number of people that they command, and their titles. Sometimes the nobles would get together and decide edicts for the kingdom without ever consulting the serfs and peasants. Nobles live well with lots of finery and trinkets to play and pass the time, while the peasants toil away for little to no gain.
Thats right folks today we are talking about Corporations and the Corporate Business Model.
In today’s corporate structure there is little more than a feudal system at work. There is no democracy, there is no equality among the people. America as a country believes in a few things, one is democracy and another is capitalism. So then why in so many companies are the two exclusive of each other? Why in America do we have school books that talk about how bad the feudal system was, about how it brought on the dark ages, about how so little was created while it was in effect, and the company that creates those books most likely follows a feudal style in its structure?
It is amazing to me that Americans have built this system and support it. Not all companies work this way. Some companies allow for input from their employees and give them a say in what the company is doing. Most of the companies that do this are small companies where everyone knows everyone and it is important to the “Kings” to let people know that they have a say. Unfortunately, as companies grow bigger and bigger managers are brought in and corporate policies are created. This is because the head “King” can no longer watch out for each person and thinks that the people he is bringing in will. This causes friction. People that in normal life are perfectly fine people, become two-faced and deceitful, as they attempt to gain favor and power. When politics become more important than the actual work that you are doing there is something wrong. Then there are companies like google.com where employees are free to mill around and discuss things with each other. The Leaders of the company play games of pool in the lounge with everyone and they talk about things the company is doing. These companies have developed more of a democratic society. Not because they vote on things, but because the people that are running things know they are accountable for the companies actions to the employees, because they know they will see the employees everyday.
Now unlike other stuff I write, I think I have a few ideas that might correct these problems.
- Give the lower employees some say in the matter. Ask them what they think they should do. Often times they get to see things at a finer grained level than you do and this will influence what they tell you.
- Manager reviews, the lower personel in the company are always suffering under the threat of bad reviews and no pay raises, but the managers that are making these threats are never worried about the people that they are over giving them a bad review. Perhaps they would be more inclined to worry about their workers and to do right by them if they knew that once a year they were going to get reviewed as well.
- Don’t let your employees get shut off from you. You may think you have an open policy regarding employees being able to talk to you, but more than likely you don’t. This isn’t your fault, but is instead the managers underneith of you cutting people off before they can get to you, or that the people that work one or two layers below you don’t even know who you are.
- Politics are for people that aren’t trying to get work done, like congressmen. Do your job. If your job is to manage people then manage them. If your job is to build web pages, build them. If someone steps into your area don’t go psycho. More than likely they are not trying to take your job, they are just trying to do theirs. Maybe you should try to work with them instead of shutting them down. If they know more than you about something then you should be happy to get to talk with them and learn what they know. Ignorance is not a bad thing, but stupidity is. If you don’t know something, that is ok as long as you are willing to learn, but if you are too bull headed to take the time or to allow someone to teach you something then that is stupid and you should be punished for that.
- When it comes time to get rid of people due to layoffs or budget cuts, get rid of the managers first. Think about it and you will see that this is logical from several points of view. First, they often make more than the workers at the bottom. Second, they are often the problem with workers that are underneith them. I am not saying that all employees are perfect, but there are a lot of times that people seem like the problem, but if you were to see it from the other side the manager in-between you and them you would see what the real issue is. Often, managers are a not needed intermediary that cost money and wastes time. Studies have shown that as a company slides toward the end of its existance the ratio of managers to workers increases dramatically.