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Joel on broken organizations

"Dealing with micromangement from below is a hard problem :) In fact it usually turns out not being micromanagement but being hit-and-run management, where a smattering of stupid issues are micromanaged in great deal but a large number of important issues do not get any executive attention at all!

The best strategy I can think of is to do what interior designers do: let the "client" (or Executive Director) make inconsequential decisions about easily changed things. A good interior designer is constantly bringing the client swatches of cloth to choose from and paint chips, knowing that these things can be changed 100 times without adverse effect. This way the client feels involved and in-control but is not really allowed to muck around in areas that they are not competent about.

This may not work. I eventually left my last job at Juno when I realized that I was never going to be allowed to influence anything, no matter how much management liked me and respected me, they still thought that their opinions were better on areas which they actually considered me to be an expert. There is just no way to deal with this level of stupidity. I don't mind working in a broken organization, but if there's nothing I can do to fix the broken organization, I know I'm just going to get depressed and so I leave."

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Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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