Molecular Questions

1999-1-31 08:57:00

Glenys makes some good points as follows:

"My only real concern is that the Molecular Business would encourage personality cults so that the person who was liked by everyone would get the job rather than the most competent. This could breed mediocrity. I have seen it time and time again where the 'people's preference' isn't the best person - we only have to remember the democratic process in political life to see that's true. In a way, having to win your workers over could breed corruption where privileges are traded for votes. Sure, you can get rid of the manager after three months but only if the group agrees. What if the group is consistently wrong? It happens."

Comment: There are four ways to obtain a position of power:

(1) Seizure and rule by force

(2) Inheritance

(3) Appointment by a higher authority and

(4) Election.

Now I think we all agree that we do not want to work for someone who forced his way into his position and is therefore likely to use dictator-like powers over subordinates.

Number two doesn't sound that great either. That's about like picking someone from the phone book. It's possible you may get a good manager, but unlikely.

Number three is that which is used in the business world over 90 percent of the time. The trouble with this is that the authority making the appointment will seldom choose someone more competent than himself, for fear that the new manager may soon take his own job.

Another problem is that such authority usually is not close enough to the employees to know which one of them is the best choice. He will often pick the guy who brags the most, but is not talented enough to pose a threat.

All three above methods of obtaining authority in business have been tried and found wanting. Now it is time to try another - election. Election is indeed a much more efficient method, but will not be perfect, nothing is. That is why all things molecular have self-correcting mechanisms within it. The only path to relative perfection is to have corrective measure built in the system so correction can be applied as light is revealed.

Do you realize that when you merely drive your car to the store you correct your direction hundreds of times through the process of steering? Without hundreds of corrections you couldn't even drive around the block. The ability to correct obvious mistakes is the major thing wrong with all systems today governing humanity. If we look at business, politics, religion, education, etc., we see that various courses have been set in each of them as if some perfect path is possible. Then the organization follows the path into sluggishness because no one knows how to correct the bottlenecks created.

An essential ingredient to implementing correction is the process of election with the built-in possibility of correcting by election when a mistake has been discovered. I submit that this will be much much more efficient than our current process of appointments.

Glenys is worried that people will be elected for their personality rather than their talent. The trouble is that this problem is already widespread through the process of appointment in the business world.

I just read about a recent study that showed that the majority of those who succeeded in high management levels were not the ones with the most knowledge or the most education, but they were the ones with what they called high emotional intelligence which is a fancy way of saying "lots of personality."

Through election personality will still count to some extent, but talent will count more, because the more successful the business is the more each employee will get paid. You will generally find that employees will take money over personality.

Glenys observes: "I have seen it time and time again where the 'people's preference' isn't the best person - we only have to remember the democratic process in political life to see that's true."

Part of the reason for this is the corruption in all political systems. After we discuss the Molecular Business we will present Molecular Politics to illustrate how correction in politics can be made and true representation can become a reality.

But even with our imperfect system of election in the free countries we find the elected officials are still much more responsive than the appointed one. For instance, here in the United states people have been complaining about the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for many years. Did the authorities at the IRS listen and institute reform? No. Instead they became less and less responsive to the will of the people. Finally action was taken. And who took that action? Not the authorities at the IRS , but our elected officials finally stepped forward and held hearings and made public the abuses. Now some reform is finally taking place. The reform is taking longer than it should and it probably is not the best reform possible, but it is much better than the no reform we were getting from all appointed officials at the IRS.

The fact is that appointed officials do not reform themselves. They must be policed by elected officials or be exposed by the press or very little improvement will occur.

Glenys is worried that a person could get elected to a position by trading privileges for votes. This would be difficult because you have to be elected by a majority vote so you have to keep the majority happy. This trading privileges is a much greater problem in the current system because you only have one person to influence and that is the authority who is going to promote you. As long as you please him you can say to hell with the workers.

Glenys makes another point: "I have had another experience where I was an outsider coming into a top management position in a professional organization. It was made worse by the fact that I was the only member of the management team who wasn't a member of the particular profession as I was employed for my generic management skills to be a 'change' agent. One or two influential members of the team were highly resentful and jealous of my appointment and managed to get everyone on their side with the result that my life became a living hell."

Notice here that Glenys was appointed to this situation and not elected. This is one of the problems with appointments. Even if the appointment is good (which I'm sure it was with Glenys) the other managers or employees often feel imposed upon because they had no input in the situation. If your fellow managers had the opportunity to choose someone who they felt they could work well with they probably would have made more effort.

Then too we must realize that perfect harmony does not exist in any group. The advantage of the Molecular Business is that the employee has more freedom to move in with a group that is compatible.

Glenys: "I know it can take longer than three months to become fully functional in a job depending on its complexity. I always allow for six months before I can expect to see any signs of real productivity, from myself and others."

The three months is not a thing written in stone. The group or company can always make adjustments if the time period proves unworkable.

Glenys: "Also, I would imagine it could be quite disruptive to the working environment to have constant challenges. It's not inconceivable that a manager would have several coming one after another? This would make it harder to focus on doing a good job and impede group stability and therefore, output."

Comment: The challenges would not be constant. For instance, on this discussion group all are free to challenge me as a teacher and even replace me, but such has not occurred nor do I expect it. In the English parliamentary system they can call an election at any time, but sometimes six or more years go by with no election.

In the Molecular Business, with a few exceptions, elections will be called with good reason. And even a change of managers that is a good change is disruptive, but it is a good disruptive.

I guess there would have to be a clearly defined strategic plan and agreed goals and objectives so that both workers and managers knew what they were trying to achieve. This may minimize any move towards 'Personality Cult Managers'.

Glenys: "I also guess there would have to be a commitment to a ongoing training and upskilling to enable people to challenge their managers. Obviously, this will require an enormous change to the management mindset as you would be required to train people to usurp you..."

Comment: Actually, the employees who have faith in their ability would become self motivated and train themselves and even pay for some of their own classes. The Molecular Business would be educationally minded, but when great opportunity is provided the employees would go the extra mile in seeking expertise.

Glenys: "The interview process could be a bit daunting with oodles of people on the interview panel. I'm a reasonably confident interviewer but I don't think I'd like a dozen or so people on the panel."

Comment: The manager would normally do the interviewing and those who are seriously considered would be presented to the group for a vote. After all they are going to spend five days a week with the guy (or gal), they should have some say in the matter.

Glenys: "I'm not sure how the Molecular Business would work with the small privately owned business of just a few employees. How does the owner/manager cope with being replaced when he or she started the operation and has a bigger financial interest? Or will individual ownership of the means of production cease? Is the Molecular Business a socialist business; i.e., will capitalism cease?"

The Molecular business will generally be feasible with companies with 24 or more employees. Smaller companies could become associated with larger Molecular companies when it is mutually beneficial. More will be written on this at a future time.

An actual owner or initiate cannot be voted out. It is his right by nature to stay at the helm as long as he desires, but if the business is molecular his replacement will be voted in. The Molecular Business is Cooperative rather than capitalistic or socialistic. In fact businesses operating as cooperatives are forerunners of it.

I agree Glenys. This list has been quieter, but this is temporary.

Hope this helps. I'll post more on the Molecular Business tomorrow.