Friday, 26 April 2013

Management by scarcity

Management by scarcity is a whole new concept for me. I am still wrapping my brain around it, still thinking and ruminating on it. What is amazing, to me at least, is that the concept exists, plus the concept is practiced.

Does it work?  How does one implement it?  This is how you go about it;


  • Goals.  Set goals.  Then change them regularly at different forums with various and different team members.
  • Direction.  Change direction and the road map to the goal frequently.  Turn left, turn right, then circle back. Yep - that's the way to go.
  • Deadline.  Set them.  Then I make sure that everyone understands that the deadline is not fixed and can change at any time.
  • Responsibilities and structure.  Never ever define a structure on paper.  Even if you do, make sure the structure is totally flat.  With the ceo on the top and all others on the next level.  Leave everything hazy so that no one knows who is responsible for what, or who reports to whom. 
  • Authority.  Continually assure everyone that you have full authority to handle every task that is assigned to them, and that you expect them to do it, plus do it very well.  Then make sure that no tangible support is available.
  • Work materials.  Make sure work materials are not available, but reiterate that work has to be done (output, and quality output is our bread and butter and there is no negotiation regarding this), and done according to the deadlines set.
  • Meetings.  Schedule and call for meetings and then make sure you are unavailable at time of meeting.
  • Reviews.  Review everyone's performance. Do this against the changing goals, direction and deadlines.  Make sure that everyone has a hazy output of the review process.
  • Team.    Speak "team work".  Then pitch one against the others at every opportunity.
  • Communication.  Do not have any official method of communication, or if you need to instititute any, create a number of them so that staff are always scanning each channel to find what is happening.
  • Motivation.  You are the best!  Well done!  Those should be the prime motivators to your staff.  Empty words. 
  • Honesty.  Preach it.  Then do not practice it. Deny anything and everything, for example receipt of any deliverables.
  • Integrity.  Preach integrity and check for it constantly.  I make sure that everyone is constantly checking on each other and giving feedback to you.Culture.  Ensure that my (un)work ethic is replicated at at every level of the organisation.
  • Employee leaves.  Your policy should be to never approve any leave for anybody.  If you have to approve the leave, make the approval processes as tedious as possible.
  • Resignations.  Handle them as personal affronts, but fire with ease - there are many people looking for jobs.
  • People.  Find good people.  Then teach them how to (un)work like you;  how to operationalise by scarcity, how to manage their functions and teams and get things done by by doing all of the above. And if they do (un)excel at it, then you get rid of them.

After all, you are just a resource, which frankly speaking, you can do without! Remember - management by scarcity!!