Monday, June 3, 2013

HR MANAGEMENT - Types of Human Resources - Von Manstein Matrix

How to Categorize Human Resources

Four Types of Employees

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.


As per Von Manstein, the first category comprises the lazy, 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.


The second category comprises the hard-working, 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.


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

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

They must be fired at once because all they do is to create irrelevant work for everybody and they force everyone around them to perform pointless tasks.

Hard working and Stupid types are a pain in the neck for everyone around them.


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, 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 top managers who indeed make great strategists and leaders.

Dear Reader, now you know how to reach the “top” don’t you?

Just be lazy and intelligent.

You are sure to succeed.

You don't believe me?

Why don’t you look around your workplace and confirm the accuracy of the Von Manstein Matrix.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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yamini said...

In my Four years of corporate experience I met only the 1st and 4th type. Most 4th :(

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Yamini,
You have met more of the 4th type? You are lucky.
Well, I was stuck with the 3rd type - plenty in the navy :)