If you are striving to be a better manager – which, as a self-respecting manager you undoubtedly are – you may find it helpful (even if it seems slightly odd) to start with a little etymology.
You see the word ‘manage’ is derived from the Latin ‘maneggiare’ meaning to handle and comes from the root word ‘manus’ or hand. As such it has a great deal in common with the word ‘manufacture’ (literally to make by hand) and ‘manipulate’ (literally to fill the hands) and all conveying the need to handle, or operate the hands. This has some pretty profound implications when it comes to people.
Throughout history and right through the Industrial Age, human labour has been “hired.” One consequence of this was the phrase “hired hands” which broadly characterised the relationship between employer and employee. It was this concept which gave employers the right to hire and fire people at their discretion.
Today, however, we have moved beyond this narrow need. Since the start of the Information Age we have talked widely and openly about “knowledge workers,” thus implicitly recognising the need to move beyond the historic limits conveyed by the traditional terminology. Even if you haven’t consciously recognised this, you have already intuited it, hence your efforts to develop initiatives “to win the minds of your people.” Yet even that is not enough.