Generally, when someone uses the phrase ‘Father knows best’ style of Management, it does imply that the style being protruded by an organisation to the outside word indicates about how decisions are being taken in that particular company. The phrase, perhaps has its origin in a belief that the founders of organisations, generally know ‘everything’ and therefore issue orders and people who work for them, do follow these orders without any question. No doubt (?), this style of management may work well for smaller organisations, having handful of employees working for them; but does not suit larger ones. It becomes the root cause of failure for larger organisations in long run and in short run, a reason of inefficiency.
Reason being, you look at the style and you get the impression that there is a ‘person’ who has founded the organisation, knows ‘everything’ to instruct and direct. But in reality it does not happen like this. You will find same person talking to various experts in other fields to seek their guidance. Isn’t it?
My reason of writing this blog however is not to pin point ‘Father knows best style of Management’ but to take discussion further to reality in larger organisations. I when look around find many a larger organisations infected with this disease of ‘Father knows best’. In these larger organisations, on the pretexts like experience or sometimes subject matter expertise or even functional knowledge, people adopt ‘Father knows best’ style without realising the fact that all possible studies show that ‘every’ individual is handicapped even in the field he has been trained in for long time. Even general questioning to self like – is it possible to know everything in a subject for a person? And you get the instinct answer ‘No’. For people who say ‘yes’ may be in minority, then why these people go out and seek expert advice more often than required.
Contrary to all given facts, such peculiar feature of an organisation undermines most desirable feature of the ‘Autonomy’. No ‘empowerment’ please.
It is a known fact that larger organisations’ survival is dependent on what amount of autonomy, it gives to its people to deliver results and not dependent on often used word empowerment.
By the way, I see a huge gap in understanding of people when they use the word ‘empowerment’. Just to clarify here, the word empowerment comes from the fact that a ‘person with vested power’ in other words, ‘powered’ person or authority sharing his power with others. It means, this empowerment is optional and only pushes the fence to a little far and open the gates of power occasionally at the whims and fancies of a ‘powered person’.
‘Powered’ always remains powerful. Drawing the analogy, ‘Powered’ Style or ‘Father knows best style’ are nothing but two sides of a coin. Only difference is that ‘Father knows best’ is prevalent in smaller organisations and ‘Powered’ in larger organisations.
It therefore means that if organisations are really serious then they need ‘powering’ of their people, it hereby means giving ‘autonomy’ for better decision execution and results.
Organisations breed behaviour and people breed culture.
To know what sort of culture, your have in your organisation i.e. is it of ‘Empowerment’ or ‘Autonomy’; then try knowing, how many times what you check in a day. It will let you know what is the culture: ‘Father knows best’ or ‘Autonomy’ style of management.