Friday, March 28, 2014

OLQ (Officer Like Qualities) - VON MANSTEIN MATRIX - ARMY WISDOM - APPLIED TO HR MANAGEMENT

ARMY WISDOM - APPLIED TO HR MANAGEMENT

Here is an article I wrote long back (during my teaching days) maybe 20 years ago in the 1990’s. 

I am sure it is applicable even today.

Why don’t you read it and tell me?

VON MANSTEIN MATRIX and OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES)
How to Categorize Human Resources

Four Types of Employees
By
VIKRAM KARVE

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


Though this model was postulated for the Army, I think this categorisation applies to employees most organisations even today.




THE FOUR TYPES OF OFFICERS (or EMPLOYEES)



1. LAZY and STUPID

As per Von Manstein, the first category comprises the lazy and stupid ones. 



He suggests that they be left alone as they do no harm. 

Yes, by and large the Lazy and Stupid Employees are quite Harmless.

Lazy and Stupid people rarely do much active harm. 

The only harm they sometimes cause 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.

You see many of this type in the army who are hanging around and achieving nothing much for the organization but being carried along as “passengers” which is feasible in a mammoth organization with huge inertia.  

 
 
2. HARD-WORKING and INTELLIGENT

The second category comprises the hard-working and intelligent individuals. 


These are excellent staff officers who ensure every detail is accurate. 

The hardworking and intelligent employees make competent administrators and efficient line managers who can take orders from above and deliver the desired results.

However, such hardworking and intelligent are best kept at the mid-management level where they perform the best.

In the army, such hardworking and intelligent officers are best suited as staff officers (upto Colonel level).
 
 


3. HARD-WORKING and STUPID

In the third category are the hard-working and stupid ones.


These, 
hardworking idiots”, according to Von Manstein, are a nuisance and menace. 

They must be fired at once because all they do is to create irrelevant work for everybody.

These hardworking idiots force everyone around them to perform pointless tasks and are a pain in the neck for everyone around them.

In the army, these hardworking and stupid officers are the ones you see slogging away sincerely in junior ranks wondering why they did not get promoted to high rank despite their hard work.
 
 


4. LAZY and INTELLIGENT

And finally there are the lazy and 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, by chance, if a lazy person is also intelligent he or she will certainly be a fantastic and ingenious innovator

Lazy people are natural delegators so they find it very attractive to let their subordinates get on with their work without interference from above. 

That is why Lazy, Intelligent Employees make Natural Leaders as they focus on the essentials and ignore anything that might create unnecessary work, whether for themselves or other people.

It is the lazy intelligent individuals who indeed make great strategists and leaders.

In the army, these are the officers who become generals and senior commanders.

Yes, being lazy and intelligent is considered the highest level of OLQ or “Officer Like Quality” in the military.



MORAL OF THE STORY
Lazy and Intelligent Officers have the highest OLQ


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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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