Bloodsucking bosses in the context of biocenosis: why the self-governing team disintegrates if it is not centralized

    The new year on Habré began with a completely enchanting arrangement of points over bloodsucking bosses , which decided: the leaders as a phenomenon are absolutely useless.

    - If you decompose the traditional "primacy" on the shelves of roles and competencies, then nothing will remain of it.

    But if the functions of the head really unfold without a trace - that is, without a single clue, somehow justifying their necessity as a phenomenon - then why do they exist in reality?

    An absolutely convincing proof of the absolute uselessness of a phenomenon existing in reality creates a logical paradox: the author’s categorical conclusions exclude the possibility of their loyalty.

    - And the king is naked, as stated in the tale.

    Only we do not live a fairy tale. If they do not coincide with the observable objective reality, people automatically dismiss any, even the most evidential explanations - because reality doesn’t matter anyway, it turns out to be more convincing: if you defend a diploma on the subject of the impossibility of another life in the Universe just before the alien invasion begins Of course, congratulations on this academic success - but how to be with aliens? What are the reasons why managers still exist, and self-managed labor cooperatives - no?

    There is a simple rule, the rule of thumb, which I borrowed from evolutionary biologists: if a genetically determined characteristic continues to reproduce , it must have an evolutionary significance , even if it is not obvious , on the contrary, this is just a reason to take a closer look. Of course, this is a rule, not a law: nobody has canceled atavisms, rudiments and excocation ( organ reprofiling ). For each case, you must separately include the head and use it for its intended purpose.

    But this rule also has an important consequence: the rudimentary nature of an organ cannot be either proved or disproved without first establishing its evolutionary value - how do you know that we don’t need this thing (or can’t do it) if you don’t know why do we still have? That is why, by the way, we do not remove the appendix at birth - although this bright thought has already come to people's heads.

    Reverse side of the coin

    The whole problem is in the chosen analysis perspective from a specifically programmer point of view, which I have often met among developers.

    If the team device is described as a car device, then these developers feel that they are the motor that drives the car, and the rest of the team - as various related parts: who gives a spark, who has fuel, and who has cooling. The manager, from the programmer's point of view, is the most useless part of this infrastructure, because he generally doesn’t feel his work at all - because the engine is under the hood, the driver and the road are on the other side, and the steering movements are transmitted to the transmission, not the engine - that's why all the talk about the fact that he steers something there, they sound like an empty idle talk. However, the manager also has gas and brake pedals, which directly affect the work of the programmer - and for which the programmer of the manager mainly hates, because for him that the race, that braking are random events,

    Moreover, this is not an apologetics to management, and certainly not a criticism of developers - although I have not met such studies, I would agree with the assumption that there are more competent developers in Russia than there are competent managers. Moreover, he would even support him with a couple of solid arguments on his part.

    But this does not negate the fact that this particular bias is a glance from under the hood:

    • There is, of course, not everybody, but a sufficiently large number of developers so that I can assert that I did not think;
    • and who does not have it - that is not, but who sees the world this way - then, usually, this is a very hardcore and rigid position;
    • peculiar, mostly or exclusively, to “IT people” in the strict sense - not even designers, not layout designers, usually - but to admins and developers (however, my bias may already be here - I list what I met myself);
    • and the post “Bloodsuckers” is a good sketch of how the world is seen from this angle.
    And the low average level of Russian management simply does not make the situation better - for example, many would-be bosses take the worldview of such employees as a challenge to power games, and may consider it as a problem of subordination (which only aggravates hostility from under the hood).

    With respect to the hierarchy, by the way, developers usually have no problems — at least I noticed a difference in attitude towards the business owner as the real boss, and the manager, the impostor boss. The problem is not in the hierarchy, but in the ideas of the developer and the manager about the positions of each other in it - most likely, mutually not entirely adequate, and almost certainly - strongly mismatched.

    In reality, of course, the development team does not exist in a vacuum, but is a social unit, moreover it is represented in several different qualities: as a product developer - on the market, as an employer - on the labor market, as a legal entity - from the point of view of various state bodies from FSB to tax - and also as a tenant, as a competitor, as a customer, as a contractor, as a supplier, etc.

    It doesn’t matter if you are under the hood or following the road - you interact with society in a variety of ways that you probably don’t even always realize. And in most, if not in all cases, society perceives the team as a subject, one thing.

    But how does the subject actually communicate physically? We need a specific human being, which will be the avatar of this team, its representative. Not necessarily the head - with the delivery of water can interact office manager, for example. But in most scenarios this should be a permanent face - especially when it comes to the right to make a decision. The team, as a subject, must constantly make decisions - and if it does not have a leader (that is, a person endowed with the right and responsibility to make decisions) - this means that decisions are made by the team, and responsibility for each particular of them is distributed to individual members. From the very first task, which is not directly related to the development and product, a useless manager will also be remembered.

    And it will be necessary to distribute - because neither customers nor contractors will be satisfied with interaction with the team, in which there is no responsible person for one question - the team itself will not be satisfied to decide collectively how to respond to any request - or what request to make. Each time looking up from the main tasks, the developer will remember his useless manager.

    However, the floating system of responsibility of contractors with contractors is also not particularly satisfied. Especially if there is a misunderstanding or conflict - who will resolve it, who will determine the right and the guilty?

    But with contractors and even customers, you can still play in collective self-government. But not always the team even has the right of such a decision - with major partners, investors, and most importantly - government agencies. They need to know who makes the decisions - because they need to know who is responsible for the decisions made.

    A state in a floating responsibility will not play - not because it is so evil and totalitarian, but because by agreeing to cooperate with a team in which responsibility is floating or distributed - it agrees to the possibility of a situation in which no one in the team takes responsibility wants - for example, for violating the law, for underpaid tax, for court compensation, or even a violation of fire safety.

    Of course, the state in the face of the mass of bodies, customers, landlord - almost no one is completely satisfied. Everyone will need a person in charge - that is, a person whose main function is not to sit at a large table in an expensive chair, not to bargain in restaurants - it does not matter for society that he can; the main thing that he cannot do is to refuse this responsibility (at least, without giving up the team with it).

    Yes, “the big boss with the big salary” is not needed by anyone - but there really aren't any. If you look out from under the hood, then you will notice that with a big salary comes a big responsibility.

    The main function of the leader: be responsible for the team- as a programmer, for example, is responsible for your piece of code. Without the possibility of choosing "I will bear this responsibility, but I will not take this responsibility" - either he is a leader or not - both in sorrow and in joy.

    But ... what about the models?

    - The head is an indefinite compote of unclear responsibilities, which you just need to sort through the roles.

    Again - incomprehensible only from under the hood. If you look outside, from any external counterparty, everything will become much clearer. Each counterparty may need a manager for different reasons - but everyone will need him. And the totality of these needs on the part of society - from the state, from the market, from the community - and forms this “compote of unclear obligations”.

    But what about the idea of ​​dividing them into roles? I even wrote out: coordinator, motivator, finisher, generator (ideas), analyst.

    First, this is not a complete list of roles. But more important are not even the missing roles, but what are the existing ones.

    “All these roles are not leadership.” These are just roles, such work.

    Most of which can not be performed without specific authority.

    1. The coordinator will not be able to coordinate if he has only a recommendatory function. Let's say the developers do not doubt personal responsibility - firstly, this is a reason to start to doubt, because there are no people without weaknesses, and secondly, there are other people in the team, and a designer can be a serious stumbling block . So, the coordinator will need powers, including the right to order and the right to punish, to act as a coordinator. And voila - he is already a little leader.
    2. It's the same with a motivator - what is a motivator without authority at all, how will it motivate - demotivators, perhaps, send it by internal mail? He will need financial authority. In total, we already have two people with access to the box office: one can be fined, the other can be encouraged.
    3. No, three - we immediately consider the finisher, because how will a person bring the project to release if he has no leverage? His instructions will be as valuable as replays on Twitter.
    4. And there is also a generator and an analyst - the roles, like, harmless, until you ask yourself a question: how exactly do you select them in the team? And if you do not like their ideas of the generator? And if you like, and others do not like? And if there are two generators, with conflicting ideas? Will you vote? And who will break a draw?
      Or the team will exist before the first serious disagreement;
      or rely on their ability to always find a common language (in other words, to exist before the first serious disagreement);
      or someone must decide in favor of one side, forcing the other to enforce it.
      Who will it be? Sounds awfully similar to the head.
    5. And the analyst is useless without interpreting his data and the decision made on the results of the interpretation - who will do this? And again it sounds awfully similar to the head.
    6. This is not all the roles. Someone will have to resolve conflicts - internal and with the outside world. This position also assumes authority.
    7. And this we have not yet reached the financially responsible person. If the plan was - for the payment of taxes the accountant is responsible - then who will be responsible for filling the cash register? Salespeople? Good luck finding salespeople who will share financial responsibility for paying taxes. And if R & D decides, in the name of better product quality, to postpone a release for a quarter or two, a cash gap will emerge - will R & D be responsible before tax? Or, say, creditors. Or even a landlord? Or is an accountant responsible for everything, having no right to influence it in any way? Or give him authority by combining in one hand both control of the stick and control of finances? It sounds very terribly like a manager.

    Raise your hands to those who believe that in such conditions it would be possible to create an iPhone. Can the implemented ERP replace Jobs?

    No, of course, Jobs is not everything. But who will decide who Jobs is and who is not Jobs? Team? By voting? Interestingly, if the Apple team had the opportunity by vote to decide the fate of Jobs ... oh wait. After all , they decided once.

    - If you tell people what to do, it does not mean that you are in charge. The dispatcher also tells the taxi drivers where to go. He does not speak, said. He was replaced by the system.

    And if an accident? And if the fault of the driver? And if the driver stole the phone from the passenger? And if the company is sued - and it is necessary either to reduce salaries, or employees?

    No role can be fulfilled without having received at least some of the powers - a piece of royal power - to point, punish, and encourage.

    As a result, getting rid of one leader - you get a lot. Who will need to somehow distribute the powers among themselves - while each of them will have the right and the sacred, the production need to stick a stick at the developers - and, believe me, they will.

    Even if these are the best managers in the world - they will, because 8 “partial managers”, such Horcruxes of a hated leader, are eight full-fledged points of view, and if at least 2-3 of them collide in a particular area of ​​work of a specific developer — someone will surely be unhappy. And take advantage of the stick.

    However, if these are the best managers in the world, they will simply choose for themselves the most important thing, and give him all the powers, where the powers of these managers crossed.

    In other words, the boss will return. Not by someone's evil will, but for objective reasons.

    It turns out the theorem: The

    desire to refrain from disintegration inevitably pushes an organization of any type, including one formed on democratic principles, toward a centralized leadership model.

    The proof is elementary: any split in a self-governing organization either leads to disintegration, or endowing one of the parties with a controlling package of powers on the issue. There will be a group of people with greater voice weight than others. Which will be reduced approximately twice with each split, not completed by the collapse. So far, a certain number of cycles later, the right of the last word in a self-governing organization will not be with one person - she will have a manager.

    The next time, when there is a disagreement within the team, he will make a decision that, by definition, will not please everyone. Which will set the final tasks. Decide on what to work, and what is not. And decide what to do if you need to pay taxes, salaries, rent - and also update equipment, licenses - and you need to choose any two positions?

    Ready for this? If so, then you are ready to become a leader. Not? So the leader will be someone else.

    And even if he is truly disgusting, incompetent and incompetent - this should not be a problem if you remember one more condition, forgotten, for some reason at first: even in the most authoritarian corporation (unlike the authoritarian state) an employee always has his right to vote kicks.

    That is, the magic way of getting rid of useless leaders already exists - and is available to everyone now.

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