In the real world (that is, the non digital world), there have always been good managers, poor managers, and people who thought a lot about management – ever since people were managed.
Just about all of us could say what good management is.
As the person being managed, we are clear on the goals we are expected to work towards, we know where we are, we have a rough idea of what isn’t an acceptable way of getting there, and beyond that we have maximum freedom in how we get there.
So the manager needs to define the goal, outline the path, say what’s not allowed, and leave people to get on with it.
That means the manager trains his or herself to switch off the powerful human instincts to control too much, micromanage too much, worry and bother people too much. The bigger the stakes, the harder this is. Yet plenty of people have managed it.
Now look at the digital era. Most people use software tools all day long. If good management is translated into good software, that means we should have software which helps us understand where we are, what goals we need to achieve, and gives us maximum freedom how we get there.
Do any of us have this? Is anybody building this?
Most software seems to leave people feeling clueless about where they are and what is expected of them, whilst simultanously micromanaging them. Software can be pretty good at telling us what’s not allowed, but not in a very helpful way.