Career Magazine

Teachers Told Us to Share

By Paragp

Teachers told us to shareOne small glass of milk separately, or a tall one together ?

Everseen a job advertisement or an internal job posting that reads, “we’ve clubbedthe roles of sales manager and marketing manager into one … please pair up withsomeone and apply … the selected pair would share performance accountabilityand performance rating”?
Mostlikely not.
Because,free market liberalism is based on the ‘liber’ or the individual. With individualfreedom, come individual responsibilities and individual reward. That’s what weare comfortable with.
Andbecause, there is a role of sales and marketing director to which these two rolesreport. Such an arrangement is common, and exists for very good reasons. Itenables good job-autonomy, job-focus, and command-n-control. Under the watchfulgaze of the director, both the managers don’t rub too much against one another.When the director goes on vacation, the managers manage J
ButI’ve often also heard stuff like, “we now have too many sales and marketingdirectors”. Or, “it’s a nightmare to make the sales and marketing managers seeeye to eye”. Or even that, “the sales and the marketing managers are very good,but none fits the bill yet to become the sales and marketing director, so let’shire someone from outside”.
ThenI begin to wonder about possibilities and experiments.
Andexamine the types of job-sharing. The most common way to job-share is to splita role into two distinct roles and staff each with a part-time resource. Split theterritory. Another way to job-share is to staff one role with two part-timers.Split the time and effort, and combine complementary skill sets. The latter iseasier said than done, and such examples are hard to find even in the mostprogressive of organisations. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Lookslike it will happen anyway, given its merits, and given the direction our worldof work is taking.
Ifwe could staff one job with two part-timers, then we could surely combine twojobs and make a full-timer pair do the combined job. The model is exactly thesame; of making two people do one job, share accountabilities and outcomes. Theadvantages are the same. So are the rough edges we need iron out to make both thesetypes of arrangements work. What if the two people don’t collaborate ? What ifone is viewed as better and overshadows the other ? What if one carries theload and the other fence-sits ? What if they privately demarcate territoriesand return to old ways ? Etc.
Inthe example of the pair of managers, the minimum advantages are those of learningfrom each other, collaborating for better results, and felling secure in thecompany of the other. The maximum advantages could be all these, plus the pairdoing their combined job and also that of their boss. Far-fetched ? Ok. So thepair could do theirs and some of the job of the boss. Twenty such pairs in theorganisation could mean two or three bosses less.
Don’tget me wrong. I’ve nothing against bosses and am not for firing anyone. Thatbrings me to a job-share experiment that may sound even more far-fetched. We allknow of good people who turn underperformers at this or that time, for this orthat reason. What if each of them could bring in a deserving person who theyjob-shared with to turn things around ? Assess the newcomer by normalorganisational standards, offer a contractual position, pay from the salary ofthe underperforming employee, limit and review the period of association –whatever.
Don’tbe so surprised. I know a person who had regular job-related conversations with,and job-related coaching from, a pensioner dad to turn things around forhimself.
Ourteachers always encouraged us to share, didn't they ?

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