Thursday, April 25, 2013

Circular References Cannot Resolve

Sigh. See, this is the problem right here. Some people automatically assume that managers are incompetent because of our history of not giving managers the tools to be successful managers. But even if managers *do* have the right training and ability, some staff can't get past their assumption that all managers are incompetent because they are, well, managers.

They've been programmed by bad experiences in the past to assume that manager = incompetent. And they can only see the world through their confirmation bias; ignoring information that might affirm that a manager is competent and latching onto information that can be interpreted as proof of incompetence.

In the end it becomes the classic circular argument: you are a manager ergo you are incompetent ergo you are a manager.

And it ultimately becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Because they assume management is incompetent, they themselves become resistant and difficult to manage.

All of this is not to say that there aren't completely incompetent and even actively bad managers out there. Hell no. They're everywhere. I've worked for them. Idiots. Micro-managers. Narcissists. The chronically clueless.

And of course, we all love to make fun of management (ever read this cartoon??). After all, they are such an easy target. I'm not gainsaying that.

My beef is with people who automatically assume that all managers are stupid and ignorant and refuse to get past that despite evidence to the contrary. I bet you know a few people like this.

The real point is that these people are not aiding cultural change in IT. They are actively resisting it. And they are not helping your IT organization better serve your university and its students.

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