How Managers Exert Influence

I run hot and cold on Henry Mintzberg, but I was taken with his thoughts in a Monday interview (published in the most recent “MIT Sloan” special section of the WSJ, here). 

Mintzberg’s observations on influencing action — and the limits of that influence — are particularly acute. He outlines three “planes” of influence: through direct action, through other people, and through information.  This last approach comes in for some withering criticism.  Per the example below, it is apparent that Mintzberg believes managing through information is what often passes for leadership these days:

Today I think we have much too much managing through information—what I call “deeming.” People sit in their offices and think they’re very clever because they deem that you will increase sales by 10%, or out the door you go. Well, I can do that. My granddaughter could do that; she’s four.

He also touches on the “Manager vs. Leader” question I’ve posted on here. Work calls, however, so I’ll get to that in a later post.

About these ads

One Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,518 other followers

%d bloggers like this: