Tell Me About The Managerial Grid ? Grid Leadership Training ?
Q: I am reviewing a new training package for a client. I was surprised to
see that the package's approach to leadership is designed around (teaches
an abbreviated version of) Blake and Mouton's Managerial Grid III. This
is the first time I've seen it in circulation for some time.
Over the years, I have gotten the impression, through my training,
that The Managerial Grid is not only passe, but somewhat discredited
as an "attitudinal" (-vs- "behavioral") model. I have always been put
off by some its assumptions and absoloutes. I lean (heavily) toward
supervisory and leadership approaches that revolve around Hersey and
Blanchard's Situational Leadership model(s).
I would appreciate hearing from people who have experience with the
Managerial Grid either academically or in extensive practice. Either
email or a post here works for me.
A:-I am suspect of any management theory written by people who have never met payroll, never hired nor fired employees and who never ran a business. I take material for my training and consulting straight from the horse's mouth. Andy Grove, Sam Walton, Lee Iacocca, Ken Hakuta, and from people who have dedicated most of their lifes to studying the secrets of success such as Stephen Covey and the Seven Habits, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker and Michael LeBoeuf --- and my own success with some 39 startups. Get your data from people who have been there and done that. -Isn't it amazing how often this kind of thing happens? It's like DISC, and Myers-Briggs, and synectics, and a whole lot of other ideas that have been "improved" and extended into areas where people think they apply. I've just come across a course purporting to be the latest and greatest, which uses Mazlow's hierarchy of needs as the justification for a lot of the structures incorporated into it. Of course, some of the "old" ideas are still applicable. But some people are stil discovering them for the first time. For example, I thought that the "right-brain/left-brain" theory of how the mind works had been scientifically disproved (both hemispheres can perform the different kinds of tasks equally well -- it's just that people use one or the other more often), and yet there's whole courses about learning that claim the two-brain approach is the only way to learn. I can't say that I have (although I've been exposed to it in various books and courses). I've always found that it is too restrictive to work in real life. Mond you, it's like a lot of "soft-science" theories - they describe a "reality", but they are not predictive (same criticism applies to situational leadership approaches). I prefer my theories to have a very good prediction rate.
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