I Wish Singapore Companies would embrace the Management Philosophy of Trust


Based on my experiences at work, the best and most productive times I had were at forward thinking companies that were non hierarchical. The lean, flat and collaborative structure really works.

But most of all, and I think I sound like a broken recorded by now – trust and respect. I think I keep repeating this, because I hope it gets out there somehow. I shouldn’t matter how people get work done, but that they are measured by their output. I am very against employees being measured by how much time they are seen to be spending at the office. This is a false and harmful measure of productivity. Also human beings are not machines and if they are genuinely inundated by a workload that heavy, they will soon break down. And by that I mean, fall ill. And one sick employee will then, too afraid to take medical leave will spread their germs to other employees and that’s how you get a sick office.

Also employees should not be made to live in fear of failure. No one can work well any that kind of pressure. If everyone was afraid we would never have any of the great products or innovations that we have today. I think fearlessness allows creativity to thrive.

I think redundant layers of hierarchy only make postmen out of middle management. Often it comes down to the high level guy passing the buck but not taking the blame when something goes wrong. We can cut cost through a flatter structure, rather than through outsourcing. I never believed in outsourcing as the contractors would not have the same sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization. No sense of pride of ownership. There’s always a feeling that you’ll be replaced so how motivational can that be?

If employees were trusted, then telecommuting could be put in place. In this way the employees can managed their own time, just as long as they produce the work within the timelines negotiated. The company can also save costs in terms of renting office space. It really all boils down to trust. With the technology we have today, even meetings can be held through teleconference no matter where you are. Anyway I always think that traditional meetings are a waste of time, but I am a strong believer in team work and synergy.

If the boss emphasizes that office politics is not tolerated and does not play favorites he or she will see the people thrive. People who genuinely like each other, produce the best team work and look forward to work every day. Now why wouldn’t anyone want a company like that? It baffles me. Well unless of course the people on top are only interested in their own selfish needs. On seeing their own salaries inflate. Yes I think office politics is propagated by selfish needs and once we do away with this kind of thinking we can start to have a healthier workplace and society.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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6 Responses to I Wish Singapore Companies would embrace the Management Philosophy of Trust

  1. R64 says:

    To offer some perspective on the Apple-thing, for each story of how great it is to work there, there’s a story of how horrible it is to work there… Especially higher up the hierarchy (which is there, despite Steve Job’s casual response that the whole company is ran by a few people having friendly arguments). I have heard plenty of horror stories in the past, and they’re either forgotten or kept unmentioned in the wake of Job’s death, but I think that, like every other workplace, Apple had some unhappy employees too.

    But, aside from that, being unhappy at your job can be horrible… it’s a place where you spend a lot of your time. It seems that Singapore is especially bad at some points, from what I gathered in this blog. If you get round to watching Randy Pausch’s story, you’ll find that there are great places to work at, and great people to work with, you just have to be lucky and willing to seek them out.

    I like the name of the category this was posted in, “When work sucks” 🙂

    • bookjunkie says:

      I have heard those stories actually, but I kinda wish companies could still be run by the philosophy he put forth. I have actually worked in such companies (not local) and I miss it so much. (that’s why outsourcing sucks)

      Am going to Youtube to watch his lecture…always meant to pick up the book. Thanks for the introduction 🙂

      yeah I like that category too 😉 sums it up for me quite well although I’ll try to be more positive as well. I think that it helps other in the same boat (sucky workplaces) hear the words so that they don’t feel so alone.

      • R64 says:

        Haha, I feel like I’m spamming you with his lecture, but it’s such a great source of inspiration and motivation, I bet it’s worth it!

        I had the pleasure to work at some really great places (the “turn your hobby into your work”-kind of experiences), and the one important thing that I learned there was that every job has it bad apples, bad moments, boring days, etc. I’m happy I learned that early on in my career as a working stiff, it keeps me from indulging in unrealistic “grass is greener” fantasies about other work places. So, I think that category “When work sucks” is in every single working person’s vocabulary 😉

  2. Crystal says:

    Although Ravi wasn’t happy there, the one thing I miss about his last job was the telecommuting. He got so much more time with baby E than he’ll have with baby Rhi simply because of the way his work is structured. The downside, though, is that he often never stopped working for real…so at least now when he’s home, he’s HOME.

    Ownership is absolutely underrated. If it’s not yours, and you’re not invested, why should you care if your company succeeds as long as you get a paycheck?

    • bookjunkie says:

      yeah it’s quite a dilemma whether to complete the work in the office or let it intrude into the home environment. But I think I still like the idea of telecommuting as at least I can be comfy at home in my jammies while I work and take a break in between. In Singapore offices they turn off the air-conditioning at 6 and I used to get such a migrane/nausea in those stuffy conditions (but yet it was still the expectation that we had to stay there till past 7pm at least).

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