Guide The New Rational Manager: An Updated Edition for a New World

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He led the way by using the new ideas himself. He established credibility for the new approaches by putting them to the test on real and important situations. He let people learn for themselves that the approaches worked in solving the kinds of concerns faced by the conglomerate and all its components. He made a planned intermention into his organization. He introduced the kinds of major changes he believed would do the most good.

The New Rational Manager by Kepner, Charles H and Tregoe, Benjamin B

He introduced a new idea to his people: I value your ability to think, to come up with good ideas, to express those ideas individually and cooperatively. He introduced a means by which thinking could be coordinated and channeled. The climate of cooperation and teamwork followed and was a result of the intervention. Finally, he modified the systems and procedures of the organization to provide support for the continuing use of the new ideas. The new president did not set out to build teamwork or group cohesiveness as desirable things that would somehow improve the operation of the company.

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He did not try to heal the scars of past in-fighting and conflict. He let teamwork, cohesiveness, and mutual respect grow out of the experience of working together with common guidelines and procedures.

Charles Higgins Kepner

He made sure the results of that experience-problems accurately identified and resolved, decisions well formulated and successfully implemented-were recognized and rewarded. Conditions for Workable Change For years social scientists have said that humans resist change-and so they do. Humans embrace change that seems good for them or good for the world they live in and care about. A new idea or a new expectation, in itself, will seldom bring about change. On the other hand, change can be very attractive if it is the product of a new idea or expectation that appears to be in the best interests of the people who are expected to adopt it, if it is accompanied by the means for its fulfillment, and if it results in recognition and approval.

To improve an organization, we must introduce good ideas, establish the means for making them work, and provide a visible payoff for the effort involved. No organization can reach its full potential unless it promotes and enjoys the coordination of productive activities among its members. The more complex the activities of the organization, the more need there is for coorhnation if the organization is to flourish.

No one knows it all anymore. Teamwork is an increasingly critical element in organizational success; fortunately, it is not difficult to achieve. But teamwork must be managed into existence through experiences that are capable of producing teamwork.

Four Basic Patterns of Thinking Teamwork can be managed into existence by teaching people to use consciously and cooperatively four basic patterns of thinking they already use unconsciously and individually. It asks for a sorting out, a breaking down, a key to the map of current events, a means of achieving and maintaining control. It reflects the pattern of thinking that enables us to impose order where all had been disorder, uncertainty, or confusion.

It is the pattern that enables us to move from observing the effect of a problem to understanding its cause so that we can take appropriate actions to correct the problem or lessen its effects. This third basic pattern of thinking enables us to decide on the course of action most likely to accomplish a particular goal.

We use this fourth basic pattern of thinking when we attempt to assess the problem that might happen, the decision that might be necessary next month, next year, or in five years. Four kinds of questions. Four basic patterns of thinking. Of course people ask other questions and think in other patterns. Nevertheless, every productive activity that takes place within an organization is related to one of these four basic patterns.

In the Beginning: Thinking Patterns for Survival The four basic patterns of thinking have not altered substantially since emergence of the human race. The patterns are universal and universally applicable to any situation. Over rmllions of years, through natural selection these neurological structures-the patterns of thinking, response, and behavior that promoted survival-tended to be preserved and passed on; patterns with low survival value dropped out. Humans became adaptive problem solving in their way of life.

The elements that made possible those patterns of thinking became part of human nature. The ability to ask and answer the questions "What's going on? By accumulating answers to these questions, humans learned how to deal with complexity, how to discover why things are as they are, how to make good choices, and how to anticipate the future.

But survival depended more often upon the acions of a group of individuals working together, perhaps as a hunting or foodgathering group. The group became a team by working together. Teamwork ensured a food supply for everyone. Tearnwork ensured shelter, protection, and a basis for living in a brutally competitive world.

There was a place for physical strength, but brains combined with strength counted for far more. Humans could separate a complex situation into its components, decide what had to be done, and determine when, how, and by whom it would be done. They could set priorities and delegate tasks.

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This was an integral part of human adaptability-the condition that permits us to change based on an assessment of "what's going on. Twenty thousand years ago, the answers to "What's going on? In response, humans took the steps necessary for survival: move to a new location, alter eating habits, adopt better hunting practices. In short, this fundamental pattern of thinking enabled humans to prevail in a variety of surroundings and against an array of profoundly adverse conditions.


Pattern 2: Cause and Effect The second basic pattern of thinking-the one that permits us to relate an event to its outcome, a cause to its effect-gave early man the ability to assign meaning to what he observed. The earliest humans did not understand such natural events as birth, illness, and death, or the rising and setting of the sun. That understanding came much later through the accumulation, contemplation, and communication of observations about their world. Small children constantly ask, "But why?

This desire is so basic that even an inaccurate explanation of a puzzling fact is preferable to none at all. Early man was satisfied with an explanation of a universe that revolved around the activities of supernatural beings. It was far preferable to no explanation at all for such readily perceived phenomena as the changing nature of a star-filled sky. Even today we have relatively few answers to the gigantic puzzle of the universe, but the answers we do have are comforting.

The thinking pattern we use to relate cause and effect is as basic and natural as the pattern we use to assess and clarify complex situations. Both enable us to survive, flourish, and maintain a true measure of control over our environment. Pattern 3: Making Choices The third basic pattern of thinking enables us to make reasoned choices. It is the pattern that permitted early man to decide whether to continue the hunt all night or wait until morning, hide in this cave or that tree, camp on this or that side of the river. Productive, coherent action-as opposed to simple reaction to the event of the m o m e n t 4 e p e n d s on a sound basis for choice.

In a hostile environment populated with larger, stronger, and faster creatures, random action too often could have only one end for early man, and that sudden. The development of sophistication in the making of choices, along with goal setting and consideration of the consequences of one action as opposed to another, meant that humans could sometimes eat tigers instead of vice versa.

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The choice-making pattern gives rise to three major activities: Determination of purpose to what end the choice is being made. Consideration of available options how best to fulfill the purpose. Assessment of the relative risks of avdable options which action is likely to be safest or most productive.

The New Rational Manager

But whatever the balance, however complex the choice, these three factors determine the kinds of choices humans have always made and continue to make. Pattern 4: Anticipating the Future The fourth basic pattern of thinking enables us to look into the future to see the good and bad it may hold.

This ability to imagine and construe the future, even a little way ahead and that imperfectly, gave our ancestors a tremendous advantage. It permitted them to anticipate the storm and the snake, the starvation of winter, the thirst of summer.

Future-oriented thinking was made possible largely by the superior development of cause-and-effect thinking the second basic pattern described above. Humans learned to apply their knowledge of causeand-effect relationships: of what had happened, and why, to what could happen and what the future might hold.