Our Thoughts on Organization Restructuring

Is your organization on job descriptions or job profiles?

Posted by David Manyanza on Feb 27 2019
Courtesy of Curtis Alan Jackson with no edits.

With increasing focus on achievement of results, role profiles are rightly replacing job descriptions even though at a somewhat slower speed than one would expect. In developing countries such as Tanzania, the use of role profiles is even scantier. It is a reflection of continued predominance of the traditional functional rather than results based outlook of the job.

A major downside of the job description is its functional focus that blurs not only the focus on but also conceptualization of results of any given job. A job description is essentially an assembly of activities related to skills and common areas of expertise. Such a configuration virtually bears no reference to results to be achieved. Continue reading...

Why is crafting a good Mission Statement so important?

Posted by David Manyanza on Jan 30 2017

Management textbooks mention that a mission statement should be inspiring and motivating from the ordinary employee through Management to the Board. Although there are good mission statements out there, there is an awful lot of poor ones. Inspiring is not exactly the impression one gets when reading many mission statements from strategic plans. One usually sees a rephrasing of what organizations do and how they do it. They tend to reflect functions organizations carry out summarized in some way. Such mission statements are not exactly inspiring. So what is wrong?

To inspire, a mission statement must convey a sense of purpose, which gives a sense of why an organization exists. It is this sense of purpose that gives meaning to what organizations do and what they stand for. Without discovering the purpose an organization is without life; it is empty. Continue reading...

Making it better in organizations

Posted by Patrick Manyanza on Nov 16 2015

Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain in the United States, during a time when the company was facing a lot of competition and uncertainty said, "If we get better, our customers will demand that we get bigger". This simple but profound statement centers on the mindset of many great leaders. Great leaders focus their thinking on how to make it better because they have the foresight to know that if they make it better, then their customers will demand that they grow bigger as a company.

To make anything better, one must first engage in clarification and evaluation. In an organizational setting, clarification and evaluation is all about identifying and defining the win or the intended customer experience that an organization desires to bring forth. If the win is not clearly defined, it becomes very difficult to practice "making it better", because there is no clarity on what "it" is. In fact this win is what Peter Drucker describes as the value the customer places on a product or service. The customer does not simply buy a product or service; they buy value. Continue reading...

Promoted to nothing

Posted by David Manyanza on Jul 18 2012

I have heard it many times during my sessions of working with employees in public organizations. They cynically say that they also want to be promoted so that they can do nothing but earn more money. They contend that their bosses get them to do everything while they sit down and read newspapers. To them, to become a “boss” which means manager or supervisor is to do nothing and get paid more. Such argument sometimes implies that anybody can be a “boss” because a “boss” simply “delegates” everything to their juniors so that they can chat with visitors, friends, make telephone calls and attend meetings. Of course everybody knows that this should not, theoretically, be true but how does this contention come about? Are the junior employees trying to say something but no one is listening? How could such a situation have developed?

On the surface this looks like a ridiculous argument because, after all, every one has a job description. To argue that someone could be doing nothing while everyone has a job description seems to be far fetched. However, a closer examination of the work environment suggests that the statement from junior employees could bear some truth. Experience shows that in many cases job descriptions are so brief and broad that it requires highly experienced people to translate them into actionable duties and tasks. Continue reading...

Is the Scheme of Service outdated?

Posted by David Manyanza on May 24 2012

A Scheme of Service is a document used in the management of staff seniority, promotion, career progression and remuneration in public organizations in Tanzania. It stipulates the career path of an employee by outlining progression within a job position and between related job positions within an organization. Each job position is divided typically into three grades whereby an employee moves up to the next grade on the basis of completing a number of years; often three years. For example a job of Accountant may have three job positions namely Accountant (iii), (ii) and (i) with (iii) being the lowest. Each grade represents a senior position with a higher salary scale. An employee is promoted from Accountant (iii) to Accountant (ii) upon completion of three years in grade (iii) and so on. As progression between grades is fairly automatic the key criterion for promotion is age on the job. In this way the Scheme of Service has served to strengthen rewarding employees based on age on the job rather than performance.

It ought to be mentioned that the three grades in a job position are exactly the same in job content. Since promotion is, by definition, moving up to a higher level of duties and responsibilities, promotion between grades does not meet this essential promotion criterion. Continue reading...