Is your company ready to manage the Brainworkers of 21ste century

I discovered that the Corporate Brain in many companies is functioning way below its potential. I called this the "Corporate Brain Disorder".

The main cause is that we manage the Brainworkers of the 21th century still with the same basic methods and attitude as we managed the Handworkers of the 19th century.

Every industry is a knowledge industry. Machines replaced muscle strength, robots and computers replaced the lower intellectual functions. Pure Brawnwork disappeared. Even production work became Brainwork.

Hence, the work that’s left –like entrepreneurship and creativity- are tasks for which the highest intellectual and social skills are necessary: work that only people can do, work that is out of the reach of computers.

Thanks to IT the most human skills become more important and more precious than ever. Thanks to IT the brain of the Brainworker is in continuous interaction with other brains that stimulate and feed it.

Electronic systems, however, only hold data and sometimes information. The only place where knowledge resides is in the brain of people. Therefore that also is the only source of entrepreneurship and creativity.

Hence, your most important competitive advantage becomes the ability to attract and keep intelligent people with good social skills and good people-managers to lead and coach them.

My point is that the “command and control”, “Taylorian management” industrial model, aimed at processes instead of people, evolved insufficiently with the needs of the Brainworkers. Target-management too often is obsolete Taylor-management in a new packaging.

From Brawnworkers you can demand to fasten 100 widgets an hour. From Brainworkers you can request to spend a number of hours at work, but you only can earn, merit their brain-production! They volunteer their engagement, enthusiasm, loyalty, creativity, entrepreneurship and commitment.

The manager of the Brawnworkers of the 19th century knew better, decided what needed to be done and how, checked and sanctioned. Managers of Brainworkers lead ever more people who know their work much better than their manager. Therefore, managers of the 21st century must become service professionals. They must provide the services their employees need to perform excellently. They need to evolve from a command and control model to a coordinate and motivate model.

To manage Brainworkers, you must know their instructions for use. A most important chapter of these instructions is about managing stress. The brain of the Brainworker is much more sensitive to negative stress, than the muscles of the Muscleworker.

Do your managers succeed in this management (r)evolution?

What do you think?

In your own company: which % of the employees think for example

    • That they get sufficient information to do their work well?
    • That the information they get now is more relevant than it used to be years ago?
    • That their bosses listen to their ideas?
    • That collective knowledge is well exploited ?
    • Which % does not trust senior management? Doesn't believe their managers often?
    • For which % is the manager the most important source of stress?

Think about it.

Here you can find the percentages I found in research.

Here you can read more about this subject on the TIAS/Nimbas Business School Site