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I wish this didn't ring 100% true


lawnchairboy

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In my experience, senior management has often been 'in the business' for many years, with entrenched beliefs and practices.  20-30 year ago, those practices were cutting edge, but they've been rendered obsolete.  However, the rewards for being at the top are 100x (or even 1000x) that of the employees underneath them, so they'll do everything in their power to prevent more  modern beliefs and practices from being adopted or even considered.  You can really endanger your career by bringing up new ideas, and god help you if you do so as a woman or a person of color.  Instead, younger employees are expected to adopt the beliefs and practices of the old guard, and especially to emulate the culture (speech, dress, clubs to attend, cars to own) of senior management.

One sure-fire way to advance is to have the same last name as a member of senior management, which is another signal to junior employees that innovation isn't needed or encouraged.  I've seen any number of new positions or titles created ('senior hat wrangler') as a result of a manager's child graduating from college.  All part of the generational transfer of wealth that locks many people out of opportunities.

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 I've been in that meeting!

 

That article and video were an exercise in frustration. I often can't get a hold of my project manager because he is stuck in a meeting at the office (or a "teams" video meeting) for hours at a time. Meanwhile, I've got real time questions that need answers quickly out in the field, as my actions affect other trades on site trying to build an actual thing.

And the bullshit terms of synergy, branding, whatever the new thing is,....

 

We dedicated a lot of time, effort, and money to adopting a "Lean Culture" at our company. Meeting after meeting, emails, seminars, and training for warehouse, office, and field personnel.

The upshot was be efficient, stop wasting time, coordinate with others on site, and have material on hand in a timely manner.

Pretty much everything I'd been doing for the last thirty years.

 

One example I harken back to: we adopted new digital technology to handle work orders instead of the old paper method. It works well, mostly. One big selling point was that time entered on a job would be in real time, log in when arriving, log out when leaving, gps monitored, so the customer wouldn't have to question invoices. This meant our timesheets had to match, of course. But this also meant I couldn't move time around to be fair to a customer after the fact if I fielded calls for another job from a co-worker, being logged in to the first job. Not fair to charge the customer for consult time in another job.

So I asked, if I'm on a job, and a coworker calls with a question, and I know it will be more than a minute to figure out, you want me to find my ipad, logout of the current job, log into his job, which is not on my list, so now I call the office, have them put that job on my list, (if I can reach someone not in a meeting), wait for it to show up in queue, logout, log in to new job, answer questions, log out, log back in to existing job, and continue?

Boss said yes.

I said but that won't work.

She said "It Has To!!"

I just said ok. 

Do not offer real questions and answers, they are not appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am an IT manager in a large IT department in state government. There is a difference in private vs. public sectors. The article and book may be true of the private sector  but it is not the case in public sector. There people at the top are appointed by the newest version of political party so upper management may change every two or four years depending upon the state. Along with that change comes a strategic directional change. What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up. Now more contractors are hired, current employees are not taken into consideration (or even their ideas), and lots of money is now wasted on yet another new priority. I could go on and on about this but the long story short, many of the appointees to the upper level areas have little knowledge in what they are actually managing.

 

When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

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John Ranalletta
3 hours ago, Sonor said:

I am an IT manager in a large IT department in state government. There is a difference in private vs. public sectors. The article and book may be true of the private sector  but it is not the case in public sector. There people at the top are appointed by the newest version of political party so upper management may change every two or four years depending upon the state. Along with that change comes a strategic directional change. What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up. Now more contractors are hired, current employees are not taken into consideration (or even their ideas), and lots of money is now wasted on yet another new priority. I could go on and on about this but the long story short, many of the appointees to the upper level areas have little knowledge in what they are actually managing.

 

When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

 

 

Had an US Army Corps of Engineers unit as a client many years back.  The unit's commander changed every two years as the officers climbed the ladder to the next stripe or star.  One new commander was leading the first staff meeting.  During the discussion, a staff member offered, "I have an idea..." to which the new commander replied, "Unlike mine, your brain is not big enough to have good ideas."    

 

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What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up.

 

In some herds, a new leader will kill off the predecessor's offspring.  It's a domain thing, like, "Not invented here."  Had a huge client do the same.  New CHRO trashed every program his predecessor started and replaced with his ideas and strategy.  BTW, under "failed" strategies the company grew from $13B to >$20B in revenue.  Go figure!

 

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When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

 

Not sure this is true or remains the same, but Bill Bryson, in "Walk in the Woods" suggested the NFS' purpose seemed to have shifted from forestry to building roads.

 

A lot of people, seeing the word forest in the title, assume it has something to do with looking after trees. Private companies would be granted leases to extract minerals and harvest timber, but they would be required to do so in a restrained, intelligent, sustainable way. In fact, however, what the Forest Service does is build roads. I am not kidding. There are 378,000 miles of roads in America’s national forests. It is eight times the total mileage of America’s interstate highway system.

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lawnchairboy
10 hours ago, Sonor said:

I am an IT manager in a large IT department in state government. There is a difference in private vs. public sectors. The article and book may be true of the private sector  but it is not the case in public sector. There people at the top are appointed by the newest version of political party so upper management may change every two or four years depending upon the state. Along with that change comes a strategic directional change. What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up. Now more contractors are hired, current employees are not taken into consideration (or even their ideas), and lots of money is now wasted on yet another new priority. I could go on and on about this but the long story short, many of the appointees to the upper level areas have little knowledge in what they are actually managing.

 

When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

You must not be familiar with the VA, or public sector unions (I am not a member)

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18 hours ago, Sonor said:

I am an IT manager in a large IT department in state government. There is a difference in private vs. public sectors. The article and book may be true of the private sector  but it is not the case in public sector. There people at the top are appointed by the newest version of political party so upper management may change every two or four years depending upon the state. Along with that change comes a strategic directional change. What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up. Now more contractors are hired, current employees are not taken into consideration (or even their ideas), and lots of money is now wasted on yet another new priority. I could go on and on about this but the long story short, many of the appointees to the upper level areas have little knowledge in what they are actually managing.

 

When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

 

Once you go past (up) the level of district ranger, you are no longer a manager of trees.  You are a manager of people , budgets, and politics.  Really doesn't matter if you're an archeologist, hydrologist, biologist, or botanist.

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While I no longer put keys to key board to fix or create IT applications, I need to know it so I can effectively manage the people that do the work.  So I do disagree with you Red as the principle you state is in theory acceptable and one I have heard for years.  But in practice, it does not produce the most effective, cost efficient, and best solutions. Just my experience and $0.02

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23 hours ago, Sonor said:

I am an IT manager in a large IT department in state government. There is a difference in private vs. public sectors. The article and book may be true of the private sector  but it is not the case in public sector. There people at the top are appointed by the newest version of political party so upper management may change every two or four years depending upon the state. Along with that change comes a strategic directional change. What was the out going administration's priority becomes the unfunded or under funded efforts and new things crop up. Now more contractors are hired, current employees are not taken into consideration (or even their ideas), and lots of money is now wasted on yet another new priority. I could go on and on about this but the long story short, many of the appointees to the upper level areas have little knowledge in what they are actually managing.

 

When I was 16 years old, my father a forester informed me how upset he was as the US Forestry Dept. no longer had foresters in upper management. It has stuck with me for years, and I can fully appreciate why he was so upset about that fact.

Back when the internet was shiny and new, everybody wanted to have a presence.  My employer, AT&T (SBC),  jumped on the bandwagon with a vanity "web page" to boast about it's corporate officers and provided short resumes for the top twenty or so executives. Only one had any actual experience with telephone service or any  technology, and even that was decades in the past.  The vast majority specialized in marketing, and had only been with the company  five to ten years.  That web page only lasted a few months, but it clarified why many corporate decisions worked against the supposed goal of providing quality communication services.

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19 minutes ago, Sonor said:

While I no longer put keys to key board to fix or create IT applications, I need to know it so I can effectively manage the people that do the work.  So I do disagree with you Red as the principle you state is in theory acceptable and one I have heard for years.  But in practice, it does not produce the most effective, cost efficient, and best solutions. Just my experience and $0.02

 

I dunno, my company, a major defense contractor, routinely hires non-engineers as technical managers or higher.  Some work out, some don't.  But above the "laying hands on work" thing, it is mainly a scheduling, budgeting, which skillset gets assigned to which project and customer interaction. 

 

As for IT, our last IT manager had no IT background, her main focus was to assign the right IT datadink to the right project.  She doesn't need to specifically know what the taskings are.

 

As to the stupify of the article, when we hire fresh engineers, they get their feet wet on small gigs then do have the freedom to push new ideas.  One we hired about five years ago is now the systems engineering lead on a multi-million dollar project that started from an idea and is now in prototype testing.  Brilliant guy,....smug as all hell, but very good at what he does.  We have several very young engineers that have brought new ideas to the 35-40+ year engineering employees.  Heck, in sitting through IPT meetings, even I throw some mechanical and electrical ideas out that have been tested and used.   You kinda pick up on alot of the how to just by attending and paying attention.

 

I'm neither IT nor engineering, but my hands are in everything.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

Some of this is due to not understanding what "diversity" should be.  There has been a strong trend toward promulgating and perpetuating mediocrity as a result.  Not having leaders in leadership roles cannot be compensated for.  The weak leaders in leadership will tend to feel slighted and "challenged" due to lack of skillset.  Seen it too many times in very large companies.

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