Hire a “manager of one”

Here at MIT Sloan Management Review we're big fans of the folks at 37 Signals. We use some of their software and we try to follow their ideas about simplicity in everything from product to process. Indeed, their notions about underengineering dovetail nicely with Clayton Christensen's much-repeated but still timely theory of disruptive innovation.

In a recent post on the 37Signals company blog, entitled Hire managers of one, CJ Curtis writes that businesses should try to bring on board

...someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do — set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc. — but they do it by themselves and for themselves.

These people free you from oversight. They set their own direction. When you leave them alone, they surprise you with how much they’ve gotten done. They don’t need a lot of handholding or supervision.

Particularly at a time when organizations must be particularly careful about who they bring on board, that's excellent advice.

2 Comments On: Hire a “manager of one”

  • agribusiness | December 11, 2008

    THIS IS SOMETHING WHICH WILL HELP IN FORMULATING MARKETING STRATEGY FOR POOR FARMERS OF COMMUNITY BASED TANK MANAGEMENT PROJECT.

    UDAYAKUMAR KOLLIMATH
    MARKETING SPECIALIST
    JSYS ( assisted by world bank)
    BANGALORE

  • arasel | December 17, 2008

    In those days, more companies reduces number of employers and there are personal re-consideration. As we have, as managers, more duties to accomplish and cover more than one domain or field of activity, head-hunters become a job in itself. It is more acceptable to have “one man show” than to have hundreds of low value peoples. Good post, indeed.

    UNGUREANU IOAN
    IT MANAGER
    SONY CENTER (Sony dealer in EU)
    ROMANIA

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