Never Mind the Bosses: Hastening the Death of Deference for Business Success
November 2012, Jossey-Bass
Over the last few decades, power, information and resources have moved from being concentrated in the hands of a few, to being disbursed across many. We need look no further than events on the world stage to see the heat signature of this – from the arrival of Wikileaks, the Arab Spring of 2011 and the Occupy movements, to the social media revolution and flashpoints such as the British Members of Parliament expenses scandal. All are examples of deep change occurring.
This book is about what this means for the workplace and for management. The proposition offered here is that our organisations need to catch up, and that the “death of deference” that we are seeing elsewhere in society needs to be accelerated in the workplace.
Systems of deference slow down organisational performance. Deference prevents organisations from learning. It stops them from being agile, innovative and ethical. Deference is the enemy of organisational success and it needs to be dismantled so that in its place we can build modern organisations with a new breed of managers and leaders. This book offers a solution to a problem that belongs in the last century, and a game plan for nothing short of a workplace revolution.
"If deference is dead, this book is about the resurrection of the effective manager in a world where nothing is quite the way it used to be. Powerful and thought-provoking from start to finish."
- Jeremy Vine, BBC Presenter and Author
“Never Mind the Bosses is a refreshing type of management book, it advocates that deference to authority figures needs to go if we are to have engaged workforces.”
- Cary L. Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School
"An engaging and entertaining romp through the post punk world. By going beyond the boundaries of most business books, Ryde gives us all food for thought about how organisations are, or are not, dealing with a rapidly changing society and workforce."
- Jo Owen, bestselling author of ‘How to Manage’ and 'How to Lead'
“If you are looking for a book that will shake up your thinking about how to improve your organization’s performance – or worried that your competitors will find it first! – try this one.”
- Professor Dutch Leonard, Harvard Business School & Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government
CHAPTER 1 A New Dynamic for Modern Management 1
CHAPTER 2 Make My Day, Punk! 17
CHAPTER 3 The Deference Contract 37
CHAPTER 4 The Drag Effect 55
CHAPTER 5 F**k You, I Won’t Do What You Tell Me 109
CHAPTER 6 Creating a New Dynamic 137
Robin Ryde is a business author, inspiring speaker and an original thinker in the world of organisation and leadership development. As a former CEO, HR Director and Board-level executive, Robin has worked broadly across the commercial and public sector. Robin currently supports organisations big and small through his roles as the Head of Leadership with the Oxford Group, Academic Director with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Visiting Fellow of Ashridge Business School and Director of Robin Ryde Consulting Ltd. For more information about Robin Ryde Consulting visit www.robinrydeconsulting.com
Over the last few decades power, information and resources have moved from being concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of people and institutions, to being dispersed across many. Events on the world stage such as the arrival of Wikileaks, the Arab Spring of 2011, the Global Financial Crisis, the social media revolution and flashpoints such as the British MP Expenses Scandal have further hastened this process.
The proposition offered by Robin Ryde in Never Mind the Bosses is that our organisations need to catch up, and that the “death of deference” that we are seeing elsewhere in society needs to be accelerated in the workplace and in management. It looks at modernising corporations and institutions to make sure that energy, potential and talent is not wasted in favour of those in power. It explores levelling control so that previously disadvantaged people are empowered rather than having to immediately defer to those in a higher position. By concentrating decision-making power in the hands of the deferred to, the opportunities for broadening and sharing responsibility are significantly reduced. This is not in the interest of the company as it prevents the diversity of voices, ideas and solutions that might otherwise flow through the organisation.
Never Mind the Bosses gives insights into how to spot organisational deference, to understand the dynamic behind it and to create alternative ways of doing business that deliver better results and therefore more engaged and fulfilled employees. It offers a solution to a problem that belongs in the last century, and a game plan for nothing short of a workplace revolution.