MICMNGT – Management and Organization as a Living Organism

The first MICMNGT session was actually a bit disconcerting. I suppose I could blame it on lack of sleep or breakfast, but I was sure of one thing. I learned a whole lot about myself and the organizations I have been in from that one particular session. There was one huge PowerPoint page that struck me most:

Every transition begins with an ending. We have to let go of the old before we can pick up the new, not just outwardly but inwardly.

This summoned a question that has been dancing on my mind for ages: “Am I really ready to elevate my status in the corporate ladder?” I had been a leader most of my life: a chairperson in my academic organization, the lead contact in many of my projects, the head admin of my web communities, and even the coordinator for most offline/online events I have been active in. It took a couple of career shifts — from the web to game development, which made me shift from middle management to rank and file again — to make me realize that I had a lot to learn. And it took this particular session to make me realize that I had a lot to unlearn before I could learn the new stuff.

For starters, I used to be the typical leader who was bossy (and not in a good way) and thought that anger or showing superiority over people are what would define my leadership. Being a geek — and I don’t mean this literally in the IT sense, but more in the sense pertaining to the stuff I am good at — didn’t help that much at all. In fact, because of the geeky attitude, there was a certain way I wanted things done. I would get frustrated because people either could not cope with my style or they were just used to doing things differently. I would also end up doing most of the work due to my discontentment, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a team to work with. People worked mostly because they were afraid of me, and not because I motivated them to do their best. Back then, the organization wasn’t a living organism. In my eyes, it was merely a hive of drones. I do recognize this as one of the major AFIs that I’m already working on, which is why I had to unlearn nearly every aspect of the way I do things.

Secondly, that sensitivity test told me that I was the kind of person who’s too OC about the minor details that there are times I’d fail to look at the bigger picture. When I make a project timeline, do I begin with the little details, or do I give myself a huge plot to work with and just adjust the schedule when it’s time to deal with the little details? Come to think of it, life would be easier if I start from the overview and then work my way into the nitty gritties rather than do stuff that in the end aren’t necessary to begin with.

Thirdly, I realize that my path is shifting again. I used to be one of the people who understood the ins and outs of coding, and I also used to be one of the people who get obsessive about every pixel in their designs. (I was still in school and my sister was only 12 years old when we both began creating websites.) It is getting kind of exhausting, especially when I have to deal with the fact that I am gearing towards marketing and coordination, and not focusing much on the technical aspects anymore. I am actually letting go of that side of me, especially when it doesn’t take a genius to know that in the IT industry, you — like every other technological gadget out there — will eventually become outdated. IT people get younger every year, and the programming languages they learn are newer. I don’t see myself competing with that anymore.

I guess it’s mostly about evolution. People evolve, so the organizations they belong to also evolve. Organizations have life because of the people in them and the leaders that run them. I mean, just look at Bill Gates. We all know that he was one of the ultimate tech geeks. But do you suppose he’s still focused on the programming aspects of his empire? Somehow, I doubt it. He seems to have “upgraded” from being The Geek, to being The Businessman who hires geeks. Still, running an organization isn’t a task that one man can do alone. He became the mother, and the empire his sons and daughters. Whatever growing the mother did, so too did the children.

Hm. Fascinating. I could actually use this as a guide post in tracking my own career. Recognizing where I am currently at — technical level, behavioral level and so on — will make it easier for me to direct my path upwards.

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