Thursday, January 5, 2017

OLQ – Officer Like Qualities : Von Manstein Matrix

Here is an article I wrote long back (during my teaching days) maybe 25 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 Officers
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 

1. LAZY and STUPID

As per Von Manstein 
 the first category of officers comprises the lazy and stupid individuals. 


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


Yes  by and large  the Lazy and Stupid Officers 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” that 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.  


In the Army – this category comprises passed over officers who are superseded for promotion and have no future in the Army but are hanging around till they reach the age of superannuation. Since they have no scope in civvy-street too  they may even seek re-employment in the Army and continue to be “passengers” easily absorbed and carried along by the huge manpower intensive organisation.
  
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 officers 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 mid-level staff officers (upto the rank of Colonel).


3. HARD-WORKING and STUPID

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


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


They must be fired and removed from the organisation 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 individuals.


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 lazy people always 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 Officers make Natural Leaders as they focus on the essentials 
 and they 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



ESSENCE OF GENERAL VON MANSTEIN’S OFFICER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

“There are only Four types of Officers.

First  there are the lazy stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm. 

Second  there are the hard-working intelligent ones. They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered. 

Third  there are the hard-working stupid ones. These people are a menace, and must be fired at once. They create irrelevant work for everybody. 

Finally  there are the intelligent lazy ones. They are suited for the highest office...” 


MORAL OF THE STORY 

Lazy and Intelligent Officers have the highest OLQ (Officer Like Quality)


Conversely if you want to rise to high rank in the Army – try to be Lazy and Intelligent... 

VIKRAM KARVE
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