Slow management: deceleration yes or no?

According to the new report, co-authored by Professor André Spicer, more thoughtful management will benefit companies in the long run.

Managers should consider a decelerated leadership approach if they want to ensure improved organizational longevity and reduce the likelihood of employee burnout.

The report, co-authored by André Spicer, professor of organizational behavior at the business school (formerly Cass), concludes that “fast management” — management that works faster and faster and with more and more new ideas — has negative can have long-term consequences for companies.

Despite the short-term benefits, “fast management” – or “McDonaldization,” where “new” ideas and products are sold due to the accelerated market – can result in new projects, initiatives, and departments being created and, as a result, companies being less likely to devote necessary attention to the fulfillment of core tasks.

Perhaps counterintuitively, decelerated forms of management could lead to improved organizational performance and responsiveness. Additionally, using “slower” techniques can reduce the likelihood of employee burnout. The same applies to underperformance and organizational ephemerality.

In order to enable effective “slow management” it would be advisable for managers to adopt the following characteristics;

    1. Reflexive skepticism – where hardened managers routinely question instances of change they face on a daily basis;

    1. Promoting and strengthening goal orientation among followers – deep concentration on a few critical processes, such as teachers directing children’s attention to specific tasks and sports coaches focusing team members’ minds on performance and blocking out extra noise;

    1. political flair – which requires them to devote time to building and maintaining relationships, but also understanding the interests, perspectives and ideas of those around them.

According to Professor Spicer, his research shows that a more considered approach to management is likely to be better for individual managers, employees, organizations and for society as a whole.

“Our research shows that this approach is better for individual managers who aren’t torn between multiple, tightly timed projects. It’s better for employees because they aren’t bombarded with new fads and fads that distract them from their real work. It’s better for companies because it allows them to focus on core tasks that they’re actually good at. And finally, it’s better for society as a whole because it leads to an economy based on more resilient and long-lasting organizations.”