Saturday, December 14, 2013

Total optimization and subopitimization (2)

Total optimization and subopitimization (1)

Generally speaking, there are two abilities required to form an organization: considering and performing. These two actions are definitely different. Referring to PDCA cycle, "Plan" and "Check" are sections of considering, and "Do" and "Action" are performing sections.

A person for consideration is demanded to have a gigantic eyes and look around the whole organization. First, he has to set the final goal. Then, he tries to enumerate the factors to be required to achieve the goal. The connections of each sector also should be tuned. Overall, a planner must commit total optimization.

On the other hand, the mission of the performers is to carry out their own tasks. They are commanded to make profit with sacrifice as small as possible. The only thing they are concerned is the cost effectiveness of their work. Thus, they tend to pursue suboptimization.

In an effective company, these two functions are supporting each other. The workers in charge can focus on their own task. The administrator adjust the balance among each team and section. Cooperation between consideration and performance makes an organization happy.

Then, how do they elect the roles of each employee?

In most companies, there are two ways for the employees to promote in the organization: so called, white collar and blue collar, commander and soldier  The former is expected to be a leader at the time of entry. The latter is not expected, instead obedience to the order of the former is needed. Essentially, there is no difference of value between them. Commanders and soldiers are both indispensable in a war. However, talent as a commander is more difficult to acquire than that as a soldier. Thus, the white collar gains more salary, in general.

I think that the difference of these two roles are not well distinguished in some Japanese companies. They employ many rookies. Some of them are conscious of the issue I mentioned, however other not. Being a leader requires special ability. Indeed, how to be a leader is quite controversial. Nonetheless it is clear that we cannot become a leader without somewhat mindfulness. However, some of them who have not thought to be a leader are forced to be promoted. Although he is experienced, he does not know how to deal with his new mission, total optimization. Therefore he is willing to get his own task as a soldier, in addition to manage the whole team. And he will have a breakdown due to overwork.

I met several clients who experienced above. Factory workers, system engineers, and even physicians tend to be trapped by this matter. In Japan,  commanders promoted from a soldier is respected. Playing managers are also high estimated. However, it requires extremely sophisticated skill to accomplish both total optimization and suboptimization. We should be cautious.

(To be continued)

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