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The Adizes Methodology is a corporate management technique, a business renaissance program and an organizational therapy. It is an eleven-phase methodology developed by Ichak Adizes, with a set of practices and procedures for continues optimization of organizational function. These practices are handled by the management team of Adizes client organizations, managed by Adizes or one of his licensed associates. The mission of the Methodology is to help organizations achieve and remain in a state that balances flexibility and control as conditions change.
Conceptually, the Adizes Methodology is used to illustrate management and organizational lifecycle dynamics. Organizations that achieve a fit of all is a result of the essence of good management.
PAEI: The Adizes Structure Model
There are several ways to introduce the Adizes model of the structure of concern. Two competing values underlying the Adizes model are the values of effectiveness and efficiency. These two values are unlike, and not completely compatible, and cannot be developed simultaneously.
Effectiveness is defined as “obtaining results which somebody needs”, and efficiency is “conducting activities with minimal waste”. We can get the needed results very quickly and reliably if we spend no expense in workforce, but then our resources will be exhausted and unavailable work for a long time. We must also preserve our resources and work efficiently. However, over-concern with efficiency could lead to tasks that are under-resourced, which can cause lower quality in the results.
Decisions can be effective and efficient in the short term, but over longer periods, those decisions can be proven ineffective and inefficient. One effective way to end a conflict between two employees is to fire both of them. No people, more conflicts. But this approach will depopulate the organization nad this will not be effective in the long run.
Similarly, it could be more efficient in the short term to reduce job redundancy and minimize the overlap effect. But if no one has experience and knowledge in their neighbors’ jobs, then when someone is unavailable to work, others cannot cover their tasks. The whole overspecialized team might be dependent on individuals and become powerless if one of the specialists is unavailable. This is not acceptable in big modern companies where the employees are stimulated to learn a wider spectrum of responsibilities, so that the team members could fill in for each other when needed.
Adizes describes four management activities: Producing, Administrating, Entrepreneuring and Integrating. These activities deal with short-term and long-term effectiveness and efficiency.
Quality decisions must be both effective and efficient in both, the short and long run.
Business leaders frequently have to adapt different roles to drive their businesses forward. The 4 management styles defined by Dr. Adizes are:
(P) Producer – Performing this role makes the organization effective.
(A) Administrator – Performing this role makes the organization efficient.
(E) Entrepreneur – Performing this role makes the organization proactive.
(I) Integrator – Performing this role makes the organization organic.
Companies are more likely started by ENTREPRENEURIAL type of managers, which posses more creative skills. After developing the business concept, the leader must then begin to PRODUCE, introducing the product/service to the market, creating and satisfying the needs and then keeping up with demand. To continue developing, the company needs to add two more roles to its portfolio. The ADMINISTRATION role will drive for greater efficiency and maximize its returns. Then, as it grows, the business will need to recruit more people, and the leaders must ensure that individuals become fully INTEGRATED and work as a cohesive team.
Leaders of successful organizations have all four management styles, balanced within their management team. No manager, leader or executive is perfect alone. There is no perfect management style. All of the defined styles are needed in place in order to create a productive, working organization. We might not like each other but we all need each other. The ideal decisions come out of teams that are built containing all described management styles. The more different the individuals in a team the better the chances of coming up with right decisions. Arguments and conflicts are impeccable part of any team and we need them to make the team more complete. There is a saying that if two people think alike, then only one of them actually thinks and the other is not needed. We should argue, but we need to show respect to each other because no one can be always right. We must give space to others to express our views and argue, because while arguing we are thinking harder and we need that to create synergies. Like the hand is made out of 5 fingers, we need each of the 5 to use the full capacity of it. If one is missing then we lose balance and some of the functionalities.
Most people are likely to disagree on the right balance of priorities when considering management styles in taking decisions. Due to personal preferences, some concerns appeal to us more than others. Furthermore, it is almost impossible that we are equally skilled at solving problems in all four styles. Something in our biological organization makes it impossible to operate equally brilliant. We are not blessed with a talent in all four styles. Most people will have a leading style, a second style, a third capable style and a final weak style. We can attain ‘foursquare’ excellence only by teaming up with other people whose talents are different from ours. And this teaming up creates synergy.
Producing is the activity of attaining short term or immediate results. Administrating is the activity of minimizing waste in ongoing activities. Entrepreneuring is the activity of seeking out and identifying new opportunities, and Integrating is the activity of coordinating shared tasks with a common mission. Integration keeps organizations socially and functionally solid, preventing them from degenerating. When it operates properly, organizations become organic, capable to survive even when key people leave the organization. Any individual can be replaced by someone else, and the organization will still operate well.
Adizes illustrates 4 prototypical personality profiles: the Producer, the Administrator, the Entrepreneur and the Integrator. These characters exemplify the styles he describes. They are introduced below.
Adizes Prototypical Management Styles
Producers are high energy, active people, who like to be busy all the time, and their interests are overwhelmingly concrete. They love to achieve tangible results as often as possible. They feel highly rewarded whenever they can declare a task completed. Producers dislike unclear details, vague situations, abstract thoughts, future-oriented tasks and wild brainstorming. They are much more interested in getting a task done than ensuring that their colleagues are happy with the ways it got done. Sometimes they might be unpleasant to be around, but they are responsible for driving many organizational achievements. Producers stop up talking about solutions and start implementing them.
Administrators are quiet, alert people who are less concerned with what we should do than how we should do it. They need to know what procedure that we are planning to use before they can join in on the action. They are extremely uncomfortable with vagueness or uncertainty, and they are uncomfortable in unstructured environments and by group reliance on spontaneity and improvisation. They simply cannot take decisions without having all the needed information or if they have not been trough similar issue in the past. Unplanned activities feel distressingly chaotic to them. Administrators prefer to create a system of routines for all ongoing activities, so they can be conducted in the smoothest possible way. They bring stability and order to the organizations and nowadays with the increasing role of regulator, they take a big role in the large companies. They are slow and careful in decision-making because they track each detail to make certain it is handled properly. They may say “no” to new proposals as a reflex, in order to go deep in their mind for a thoughtful consideration through their concerns. Administrators don’t get along with Producers as the see them as change making, chaos causing people, and Producers may see Administrators as obstacles.
Entrepreneurs are easily describes as dreamers. They are not interested in the results today, but would rather focus on bigger potential achievements in the future. Entrepreneurs feel weaken by the demands of ongoing activities. The present is a trap. Entrepreneurs are energized by challenges, exciting opportunities and future achievements. They are talkative and charismatic. They love being at the center of attention. They are loud, expressive and very easily bored. When inspired, they can come up with several very different future schemes. Entrepreneurs scan the environment constantly for changes, in their drive for innovations. Producers are highly skeptical of this abstractness of the Entrepreneurs when there is a clear to-do list for the moment. Administrators see Entrepreneurs as dangerous. Entrepreneurs want to dramatically change the whole game, with no detailed sense of the new rules. Entrepreneurs are the only managers who seek and stimulate major changes. It is fatal for organizations to not have them in their management team as market change constantly with ever increasing cycles. Change is inevitable, and the Entrepreneurs help the team to foresee and adapt the changes in a timely manner.
Integrators are team-builders within the organization. They manage the interpersonal, interdepartmental, supplier and client relationships that allow the organization to function together as one organic whole. They attend to peoples’ needs, views, motivators, complaints and conflicts to foster a constructive working environment. Integrators help people focus on shared goals. They are less concerned about roles and titles, and more concerned with the common goal or objective. Well Integrated and functioning teams make organizations an organic whole. The integrators are better at getting the wide picture in projects, where there is a problem or a need to change. They are very good at listening and get along with the other management styles. In meetings where Producers are pushing for a quick decision about what to do, Administrators are slowing things down to make sure for carefully consideration on how best to proceed, and Entrepreneurs are questioning why we are even doing any of that now, when a new long-term plan is more attractive. Integrators are thinking about who we are, who is in the room and who our stakeholders are. Integrators are trying to align concerns and interests, turning everyone into unified team. This is not an easy task especially if the hierarchy in the company is very structured. Producers do not have patience for integrated work. Their impatience is important for rapid task execution, but they typically tolerate damage to team integration in order to get things done.
All people are able to operate in all four management styles but we are naturally stronger in one of them, from the day we were born. A secondary style develops as we mature, and by adulthood we are usually very capable in our second mode. A third style can be learned with additional effort, and in our weakest style, we can function but will always benefit from some external help. Teaming up with someone whose style profile completes ours is the way to address all four concepts of looking at things. We have to respect the different values and priorities of others. Conflict is needed, and mutual respect keeps the argue in constructive manner.
The following table illustrates some of these areas of potential conflicts.
We need all 4 management styles in our teams otherwise the organization will be unbalanced, which is called mismanagement in the Adizes Methodology. The complete loss of even one style results in mismanagement and possible failure, but the most visible forms of mismanagement is when the full reliance is placed on only one management style. All other styles and priorities are denigrated and disrespected. These mismanagement styles help to highlight the competing values within the model. They are described below.
Adizes Mismanagement Styles
The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger is a busy manager who cares only about results. Lone Rangers are ready to run over peoples’ feelings, to violate procedure, and to cut discussions just so that tasks can be executed quickly. Quality matters much less than task completion. Lone Rangers prefer to do all tasks themselves, because for any one task it is easier and quicker for them to do it themselves rather than training someone else to do it. Lone Rangers do not build effective work teams around themselves and become bottlenecks in the organization. Lone Rangers start work early morning and leave work late in order to get things done. They do not delegate well because don’t have the pension or do not trust their employees in their quality or abilities. Lone Rangers make poor managers because they try to manage tasks directly, rather than managing the team that does the tasks. Lone Rangers place limitations on the capacity of a team to grow. The team never gains the capacity to do more work than the Lone Ranger him/herself is capable of doing.
Unlike Lone Rangers, Bureaucrats do not care about concrete or tangible results. They are concerned with how things are done, what procedures, rules and practices are in place, etc. They spend their time analyzing the behavior on their teams to make sure that the procedures are being followed. They are ignorant to results that will be achieved by “taking shortcuts”. “Just because taking shortcuts worked this time does not mean it will work next time.” They are afraid of the possibility of chaotic behavior and violating rules. It is better to follow the rules. It’s the only way. Bureaucrats dislike improvisation and uncertainty in work behavior. They write processes and procedures for everything, believing that any policy is much better than no policy. Subordinates are expected to demonstrate that they followed the procedure in everything they do, and innovation or improvisation is not an option. The rules guarantee that the team will not get into trouble. Bureaucrats end up managing the rules, with no attention paid to the experiences of stakeholders outside of the rules. The organization may become bankrupt, but it will do so on time and according to regulations. Their approach is very political on times. They have to justify all of their decision hiding behind regulations and procedures. Like to be on the safe side.
They think that they are visionaries, revolutionizing the world and garner the attention of all due to their genius and originality. Their favorite event is the announcement of a new grand plan, great vision, new direction, innovative campaign, etc. They love to look important and seeing their employees cheer a new vision. The problem is, after a short period of time, once the excitement dies, Arsonists begin to get bored and begin dreaming new grand schemes in new directions. This leads to new announcements and new great visions to be followed. The old projects are irrelevant. Since this happens with regularity, employees are constantly forced to change directions. This type of managers gets disliked very quickly and de-motivate their employees. Employees are eventually forced to ignore their manager, to applaud enthusiastically to newly announced ideas, but to ignore those new initiatives and continue working their day-to-day activities.
The Super Follower
Super Followers are very politically oriented. They often have no sense of any of the issues that are at stake, but they have an extremely strong awareness of the conditions for political survival surrounding those issues. Super Followers thus do not stand for or represent anything in particular. They simply follow the thoughts of the powerful and dominant managers in the organization. They don’t have an opinion and in most cases, do not bring value to the organization. Super Followers are sometimes so good at following that they do so before anyone has a chance to lead. They will express an opinion only if they feel certain of the consensus. The organizations are full of this type of mismanagement especially at high level in big MNCs (multinational companies). Super Followers are conflict averse, so if they are confronted they try to get a consensus. They may shift their position, so that they get into an agreement with whoever they are interacting with. This kind of face-to-face agreement is usual when interacting with important and powerful people. The issues don’t matter; being on the right side is the only thing they care about.
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