Tuesday, March 13, 2007

WHATEVER!!! ("Whatever"-management)

It is a very exciting time in my company now. The company is changing from a small (less than 10 people) family type company into a larger (around 20 people) more corporate setting. This means of course that there will be changes in the company culture and things have to be done a little more organized and less ad hoc than earlier. Since I joined the company relatively recently and came from a larger (real) corporate organization it is not any big shock for me and since El Presidente is seriously committed to this change I am not the least bit worried.

That our management (read: El Presidente) is committed to this and is willing and able to lead this change makes it much easier to do this difficult transition and I have realized that there are things that I need to learn to about working in a coporate environment.

Let me give an example on how El Presidente leads by example. Since we are a small and the staff is relatively young this becomes even more important. The younger people need to learn how management interaction works. Scenario is as follows:
Junior staff is asked directly by El Presidente to arrange some minor thing, say conduct some minor background research for a pitch to a potential client. He/She runs into some minor problems that he/she needs advise on how to solve to meet the demands of El Presidente. The junior staff sends out an e-mail laying out the questions and suggests a time that they could briefly talk and any issues can be resolved. The mail is not extremely short, but concise considering the issues in question.
The reply from El Presidente comes quickly (very important in a coporate setting) and is very concise, consisting of one word:
"WHATEVER" - please note capital letters.
End result, junior staff becomes sad and a little scared. Issues are still not resolved. However, the junior staff has learned a valuable lesson in how things work in a mature coporate setting. The formal name is, if I'm not mistaken, called "Whatever management". This word also is used verbally often by El Presidente, sometimes followed by a "I don't care".

You might for obvious reasons feel interested and want to try this method yourself, but please use caution since there are situation where this is not the recommended method. Just saying or replying to e-mails with "Whatever" might be tempting and could actually be useful from time to time, but there are specific conditions that need to be met to handle this the best possible way:
1. You must delegate some work to someone in a junior position compared to yourself
2. You must set tight deadlines for this task
3. Task must be vague enough that questions must arise for said junior staff
4. Question comes; now is the time to use that "Whatever" for maximal effect.

Doing this towards people in a senior position is not advised.
Exciting times of change now. My current project team consisting of Luke and The Boy have quickly adsorbed this style and it has been proven very useful. You're never too old to learn something new!


El Presidente said...


Anonymous said...

I dont care!

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