VON MANSTEIN MATRIX
How to Categorize Human Resources
Human Resources are the most precious asset of an organisation. Hence, before we try to “manage” Human Resources it may be prudent to classify your employees into suitable categories based on certain attributes.
The Von Manstein Matrix is an excellent paradigm to categorize your organisation’s Human Resources, especially the Executive or Officer level employees.
General Von Manstein identified four types of officers in the German Officer Corps of the army. I think this categorisation applies to employees most organisations even today.
LAZY and STUPID
As per Von Manstein, the first category comprises the lazy, stupid ones. He suggests that they be left alone as they do no harm. Maybe one reason for this is that lazy and stupid people rarely do much active harm. The harm they do is more often based on missing opportunities and stifling the creativity of those who report to them. Sometimes they are the unavoidable “baggage” or “passengers” you have to carry along.
HARD-WORKING and INTELLIGENT
The second category comprises the hard-working, intelligent individuals. These are excellent staff officers who ensure every detail is accurate. The hardworking and intelligent lot make competent administrators and line managers who can take orders from above and deliver the desired results.
HARD-WORKING and STUPID
In the third category are the hard-working, stupid ones. These, hardworking “idiots”, according to Von Manstein, are a nuisance and menace and must be fired at once because they only create irrelevant work for everybody and force everyone around them to perform pointless tasks and are a pain in the neck for everyone around them.
LAZY and INTELLIGENT
And finally there are the lazy, intelligent ones. These select few are suited for the highest office. Laziness stimulates creativity because lazy people are always looking for easier, simpler, and less laborious ways to do things, so they try and innovate. And if a lazy person is also intelligent he or she will certainly be a fantastic and ingenious innovator. Lazy people are also natural delegators so they find it very attractive to let their subordinates get on with their work without interference from above. Lazy, intelligent employees make natural leaders as they focus on the essentials and ignore anything that might make for unnecessary work, whether for themselves or other people. It is the lazy intelligent top managers who indeed make great strategists and leaders.
Dear Reader, now you know how to reach the “top” don’t you?
Why don’t you look around your workplace and confirm the accuracy of the Von Manstein Matrix.
Do comment and let us have your views.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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