Organisations, both private and public, have one common element central, if not [arguably] the only defining factor to their entire existence, and that is management.
How any organisation’s management behaves – the attitude with which the management adopts towards the organisation, their own role in the organisation – has great influence towards the shaping of the overall [organisational] ethos and ultimately how, by and large, the affairs of such organisations are conducted and the general behaviour within such organisations.
History is awash with stories and examples of once great (or perceived) organisations, private and public, whose implosion sent shock waves precisely because such eventuality – to the outside world – was almost not at all anticipated. This is because such organisations carefully craft and build a general outward public perception of their strength, as to suggest their own immortality and therefore the news of them collapsing under their own weight [of accumulated management inefficiencies and incompetence] is treated as a completely sudden occurrence.
One of the main causes of [eventual] organisational collapse, private and public, is that of lack of adequate effective checks and balances on the [powers of] management. That is, the lack of a rigorous and transparent system of checks and balances, accountability on the management – which, if and where it exists, reinforces transparency within organisations.
As such, many shrewd managers in both private and public organisations, have a tendency to take advantage of this systemic weakness within many organisations, to create their fiefdoms of power base within organisations that allow them more power leverage across the organisational sphere.
This behaviour is usually typical with managers who are driven more with power ambitions – who harbour ambitions to rise to the top and take total control of the organisation – than are concerned with the overall performance of the organisation.
Such managers play their internal organisational power politics mainly through and by multiplying subordinates – not equals or [potential] rivals. This is effectively and usually done by compromising talent, and/or forcing the existing talent – and anyone else they perceive as posing a threat to their secret personal power acquisition projects – out to give way to their obsequious lackeys.
In other words, in most organisations, private and public, managers are primarily preoccupied with building their own [personal] power bases through and by building a team of extremely and excessively submissive and loyal people, to the extent that when they say or order: jump; their obsequious lackeys can and will only ask: how high, and not why, boss?
This, of course, all done at the great expense of organisations and ignorantly sanctioned by senior management and the board of directors – who, for the most part, are too far removed from the internal realities within the organisations – and/or government budgetary committees under the false pretext of strengthening the organisations as masterminded by the same managers in what they, in technical Orwellian speak, call budget or action plans.
These are often the kinds of insidious little internal power games played within organisations, compounded by the passage of time, that work more to damage organisations from within although hardly seen on the outside.
Due to the opaque nature of such internal power games by management, such behaviour is rarely communicated particularly and largely because it circumvents the established communication channels within organisations; consequently, it is often unknown to the board of directors – the overall guardians – yet does great damage by sowing bad seeds that have the potential to eventually destroy organisations and wipe them out of existence.
To minimise or avoid this kind of behaviour, organisations, both private and public, need to ensure there are more checks and balances on the powers of management and demand rigorous accountability from management.
They need to ensure that there’s more transparency, particularly on how affairs of organisations are conducted and on the overall conduct of management.
To ensure such transparency and less abuse of organisational power and resources for personal benefit by management with power ambitions, organisations need to consider a “360 degree worker” participation approach in the affairs of organisations, where workers (organisation members) are involved in the decision-making process, a process in and during which decisions are made and taken on behalf of organisations but will ultimately affect workers in one or other ways.
This opens up organisational management space to everybody within the organisations and more crucially, puts management under more scrutiny by all parties with a stake in organisations and their affairs.
The management of organisations, both private and public, is too important a role in society to be left and assigned to – as the responsibility of – only a handful of individuals in management positions, completely cutting off [out] everyone else within the same organisations whose only cut out and expected role, is obviously to take commands and be told what and what not to do, usually in snippets of harsh communication, from such usually self-important individuals who constitute the management stock who then, periodically report – usually their loaded opinions – to senior management and the board of directors – where applicable.