If you followed the two previous Daily Thoughts, you would have got into the idea of ‘Managing by Segmenting Around’. I have just made it up, but I believe this is the current equivalent to the old Managing by Wandering Around.
The categorization/segmentation is not new. What is new in 2017 is that we need to be serious about ‘treating’ people differently. The organization is not equalitarian, it is not a democracy. The segments matter. The categories matter. A ‘toxic-sceptical-for-no-reason-person’ and a ‘let’s-make-it-happen-person’ don’t have organizational equality. Not in terms of influence.
In the political change, political campaigning, social movement approaches, you would not survive five minutes if you were not in constant segmentation and categorization mood. The average (business) organization is extremely poor in segmentation. We treat all people the same: same communications for everybody, usually top down. We recognise many of these categories but we often tend to treat them as an anecdote. We acknowledge the existence of the chronic sceptical, and the noise amplifier, and the high connected good role model, but we give them the same treatment particularly in terms of communication. This is non sense.
Human Resource management, which, by the way it is not a function but all of us, means recognising those differences and acting differently with the segments and categories
In political campaigning – let’s take the US presidential elections as an easy case study – you don’t go to a 60 year old with messages on unemployment and a 27 year old with messages about Medicare. It’s the other way around. Both need to be engaged for the purpose of electing ‘him’ or ‘her’, but the clicking mechanism is miles apart. In the (business) organization we simply don’t distinguish. All our HR systems care is about performance: average, terrible, contributor, outstanding, etc. These say nothing about influence, impact, power, toxicity or injection of sanity. The performance segmentation is a machinery segmentation.
This needs to change. It’s not rocket science.
Pick a few of these categories. I’ve done this for you from the previous Daily Thought, as an example:
- Deviants (positive). Do things differently, have another playbook and succeed
- Sceptical for all seasons
- Noise amplifiers
- Making-it-happen first, then we talk
- Only One Agenda People (and it’s mine)
- Identify these people, put names next to them
- Make a concerted effort to know them and understand what makes them tick or not; what they want to hear, what seems to awake them
- Create a short a simple plan to engage with them
- Make sure that that you have specific differentiated plans
- Use group effects: noise amplifiers can be challenged by noise-buffers; put them in the same room
- Test your strategy with a few of them
In The Managing by Segmenting Around school of thought, you must have at lest ten different people strategies for ten different segments. Don’t mix them up. Yes, sorry, I forgot, it’s hard. That is why we don’t do it and apply the pseudo-equality concept, married to a bizarre concept of ‘fairness’ all the time. Exactly the equivalent of warning an 27 year old US citizen about cuts in Medicare, and an 60 year old US citizen about the perils of joblessness.