David K. Hurst: Managing People-as-Ends and Not People-as-Means
In many situations, the complexities in managing a diverse and layered team of people are to view individuals as ends and not means.
Management and organizational frameworks often treat people as means. The business ends are external: so-called shareholder value, or stakeholder value, which is fashionable today, or simply revenue and unit sales goals, or metrics and KPIs.
Managers are taught to look at people through an economic lens as resources ― human resources ― in the same way as material resources and financial resources, to be utilized as efficiently as possible.
But people are not means. They are subjects, and they have subjective ends of their own. They’re searching for identity, meaning, and trying to meet their own potential. If managers recognize this, their approach to people as team members and employees will be much different.
Individuals need to be able to tell their own story in their own space.
We work for money but we live for the story. The most important story is the one we tell about ourselves and our values. People need opportunities to tell their story. Everyone at every level in an organization and in every type of role or job needs this opportunity.
To do so, they need their own space in which to create and embellish their story, a space that is unique to them and gives them a fine-grained perspective of which they are masters, and for which others will prize them.
David Hurst gave the example of Costco, where the in-store personnel have space to use their own discretion to serve customers. If a customer (a guest, in Costco parlance) requires assistance in locating an item, a Costco associate will stop whatever they are doing and esc
Article from Mises Wire