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Friday, March 1, 2013

An Essential Management Function

A key insight required of management is the understanding that there are cases where rules cannot be uniformly applied. Let us take parents (home managers) as an example. Parents of several children know full well that though they love all children equally, when it comes to discipline some tailoring of rules is necessary due to differences in personality. The same approach and rules are not appropriate and effective in every case.

The same applies to organizations. It is not enough for managers to have a firm grasp of organizational rules and apply them with regimented gusto, it is also necessary that wisdom be applied to arrive at optimum results and that in some instances the application of rules must be relaxed. Managers are paid the big bucks not to be machine-like rule enforcement robots, but for the recognized necessity that wise judgment is required—that fairness paradoxically entails the lack of total uniformity. It is not uncommon for managers with an anal bent to look down their noses at more relaxed managers—finding them incompetent and loose. Wise managers assume a more humble aspect knowing that true justice and fairness is more problematic than simply applying a set of rules.

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