Just idling thinking about structures earlier and I may have created an interesting one associated with management. It’s a tree. And it’s probably something that someone else has thought up in more erudite ways and with more eloquent language and to a greater extent than my idling mind can compete with... Either way, here goes.
One of the clear difficulties I see in business... I guess possibly a cultural matter within the UK... Is our inability to internalise the structures of management. That is old view of hierarchy but also of interpersonal relations and networks of power. That is there is a rejection of the first (“Stick it to the MAN!”), a achievement of extremitus with the second (various forms of favouritism or distaste, and other general forms of unprofessionalism) and a total lack of cultural knowledge of the third (we just don’t work together).
I may need to go into more detail of the three I suppose at some point. But to be honest it is only the second which is interesting in a wider way. The idea that our power; our potential achievements, our acceptance and support of another is vital in a management structure. Foucault looks into power as a network in the sense that even (to the greatest political extreme) a Sovereign and ‘Divine Right’ style of Monarchy is ultimately supported by individuals accepting the Monarch’s position in one way or other. The same can be said in business, and is vital in business. Because this opening up of an additional layer of understanding within work and the power processes that enact within work ultimately conceptualises things in a very satisfying and positive way.
One of the first things I am going to do is one thing that Foucault warns not to do... Which is commoditise power. This is lazy for me (I need to re-read Society Must Be Defended asap.) and a good illustrative short hand for people.
2+1 2+1 2+1 2+1
| | | |
11 11 11 11
As you can see, management levels and structures are supported and develop in themselves not so much through individuals at this levels adding to the overall commodity of work, but by the utilisation and development of the work done previously. In such an organisation, where the flow is clear and positive the Managers are able to resolve issues with a higher level of skill and support. It is a message for all individuals within a structure, that each bit of work, each individual, has a part to play for the positive accomplishment of the organisation, or indeed, otherwise.