A Provocative Paradigm for Business in the 21st Century
Management by Interaction emphasizes communication and balance of male/female energy as well as integration of all human aspects (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual), creating an empowered, high-energy, high-productive workforce. It is based on shared goals and active participation of all parties, especially through communication, caring and sharing. Actively using energy produced through synergistic and symbiotic differences to complement and enhance shared goals.
According to Webster's New World Dictionary, "Interaction" means participating with each other reciprocally (equally on both sides, mutual, complementary, to give and to get, to return in kind, to move back and forth, to interchange positions, to be equivalent).
The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus lists as synonyms: Coact, Interplay and Interreact, and lists the related words: Collaborate and Cooperate.
The Management by Interaction style of working consists of recognizing:
In the last 20 years, we have been moving slowly away from the idea that each person is separate and must compete with each other in order to be successful to the concept of shared responsibility, team work and deeply inter-related, inter-connected dealings — whether inside a business, in an industry or on a global level. We can no longer function in isolation.
As people who must inter-relate with each other, we find the old ways of doing business no longer fit. Our old beliefs no longer serve us as they once did.
We need new models of doing business, new models of getting along with each other — in business, in the community, in the world. Our workforce is becoming more diversified, yet as long as we cling to the idea of protecting "mine" against "them," we will not achieve the productivity and success that we desire.
"Management by Interaction" is a light-hearted way to deal with change — a provocative theory to help us face some of our beliefs and change them in a way that is a natural outgrowth of our most human aspects.
Change is always difficult for humans, yet it is the nature of the universe to change and grow — constantly. We can view change as fun, as challenging, as invigorating and exciting — or we can view it as something that is done to us.
"Management by Interaction" is a light-hearted approach to solving very serious business problem. Change does not have to be difficult. We can chose to have fun as we change.
It has been proven many times that people who enjoy their work and are self-motivated do work harder and produce better products. The results are solid business — improved bottom line, increased profits, fewer accidents and injuries, lower turnover, and higher quality.
In the old business models, thoughts (intellect) and actions were the only things valued — a 2-dimensional model — me against you and/or us against them.
In the new business models, we must also deal with feelings (emotions) as well as the larger context in which we operate — a 3-dimensional model.
And, we must begin to deal with the unknown factors that are operating at all times — the spiritual, mysterious, unseen forces that operate around us and often are stronger than those forces which we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears or touch with our hands.
We must understand that the "context" in which we operate (our beliefs, values and principles) may be stronger than any of the physical forces. This "context" may be called anything you want to call it. Some people call it "God," "soul," "spirit," "Great Spirit," "Mother Nature," "Father Sky" or "the Universe." Others call it the "ultimate stuff' or the "x factor" or the "Big Picture." Whatever the "context" is, it is at work in everything we do. To avoid a conflict with people's belief, we use the word "context" to cover all of these and more.
We can argue about it, try to define it or just assume that it is there and leave it alone. It's like "Truth." Truth exists and is, whether we believe it or not. We each carry our own version of "truth." "Context" is like that — unseen, yet a very powerful force.
"Management by Interaction" implies using information, systems and people as in other management methods yet in a more participative, interactive people-oriented exchange. It implies that "managers" are not only givers, but receivers as well. Managers may give direction as they receive participation. Managers may give empowerment as they receive productivity. Managers who give orders without understanding this reciprocal give and take process will usually receive resentment or resistance.
To connect and interact in such a way, a great deal of communication, trust and respect is required from all parties. The possibility of deeper communication and stronger teamwork, partnership and connection exists between people when those are present.
The definition of the synonym "interplay" provides for the potential for humor, something often missing in management theories — something very much needed in the very serious times we're in.
Creativity is needed to break down some of the stereotypes and combative issues that surface in many workplaces. There is a huge opportunity for using humor and proactive approaches to look at the problems we all face
As you review the definitions and components of Management by Interaction, allow your mind to open, allow yourself to find joy in seeing the humor in the processes and allow yourself to laugh, giggle or snicker as you begin to enjoy the process of looking at business in a whole new way!
Intellectual / Thinking/ Components:
|Fun / Playful||Communication|
|Growing||Ebb and Flow|
|Partnership||Expansion / Contraction|
|Chaos / Confusion||Involvement|
|Independence / Dependence||Complementary Differences|
Source: This management style was created and developed by Barbara Taylor and Michael Anthony in 1992.
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Page updated: May 11, 2023
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