Hi, welcome to week four, Screen Side Chats. The first question I want to address concerns management. And the reason I want to address it is because even in my course here at Stanford among graduate students their biggest question constantly is how do I manage given garbage can theories. Tenets about all this fluidity and this chaos and this anarchy, what do I do? And so I want to go through the forum posts this week on that, and then particularly I want to draw your attention to Richard Boyce's response. It's a very thoughtful post, and in it he kind of lays out a really succeeded prior theory. So he says laying on the rational actor views it's very well with traditional views of management planning the organized control. Winson repeat right, this is the process views it's very well two if not more, so because management cannot just follows the standard operating procedures. And then, the bureaucratic politics model adds a dimension of who you know, or this effort to negotiate and exchange in an effort to pool efforts. So he says those are all great, but there's something kind of missing, and he goes on to say that in day-to-day management there's actually these challenges. There's actually these realities that make those theories not so perfect. He says rational decision approaches are rare. Even in engineer firms they don't happen that often, and he says processes are some what common. But frequently they've been laid down by external consultants and aren't executed by managers at all. He says even that he'd warrant that good managers are ones who know how to work around the existing processes. So, standard operating procedures are things to be bent, to be adapted and applied in very peculiar ways, let's say, specific to your firm's situation. And he says politicking is clearly an ongoing process as well, but he says he would characterizes as a fundamentally social activity that's ever present. It's not clear that coalitions are actually working on anything besides their shared identity in golf games. So that's what he says and it's really insightful that he then goes on say my take on management per garbage can theory this is that. Here you have these answers for really dynamic descriptive characterizations of organizations, where people who shout allow just pet projects and managers that are running on the side in favor to the employees. The ones that are kind of, and the crisis of the situation takes stage, right? And so he says given that, as a manager, he would use garbage can theory to do the following. You decide in which instances you wish to play the reformer, the enthusiast or the pragmatist. He says you find ways of prioritizing the choice arenas you engage in. That's very insightful in the sense that, some choice arenas you may have more leverage. You may have other participants with similar energies as you. That you can align so problems and solutions together to actually make a decision come about. He says for those arenas that you do want to engage in, you find ways of controlling the problem agenda. So agenda setting in particular, and I'll talk about that more in a minute. And then, he says likewise control participation if you can. He says he's been in many meetings where you schedule them to coincide when someone's gone. So, and then he said have a ready supply of solutions for all the problems that come up. And so I think it's a very insightful post and I really recommend you go see it. And I think Vanessa Bright also builds on this, and really kind of lays out how an enthusiast view is feasible, particularly in the kind of firm she works at which is online marketing. Which is a very changing fluid field, and there the kind of garbage can context is actually interesting, and useful perhaps. Now in my Stanford class is interesting. We had a lot of discussions today about garbage how to manage. And a few people has some really insights I want to share with you too. And I picked up on, hopefully I can elaborate tie together here. And what is that, someone said, being the manager of garbage can, there is like playing Tetris. I don't know if you remember Tetris. Tetris is a old computer game, these blocks would fall and you rotate them to land in other blocks that are arrange in such a way that hits that context. Well, it fits right? And you win some points or something. It's always that metaphor is kind of neat and nice in terms of a garbage can. It's not as if you can be strategic about everything. What it's saying is that there's a timing. That there's kinds of things you can do that fit the particular context, those kind of ideas that it's not all, that there's something to deterministic about it, sure. But that, it's fluid and situated and I think that's the kind of view of garbage can, what's in place. And what you're trying to do to fit that situation. And that situation is constantly changing too. Now agenda setting I think is a key thing as a garbage can theory manager. I mean, you clearly want to be involved in establishing what problems are addressed. And, as well as, kind of, generating what solution. So, having a ready set of those things is pretty key, and, I think, Richard does a nice job of laying that out. So, that's really clear. And then, I think, the other things you could do is a little bit of politicking before the meetings, in the sense that what you can do is, you can try to co-opt. People who may be negatively inclined toward a lot of the agenda items you're interested in and that way you kind of remove the negative energy where they might associate various problems to your solution. And that way it doesn't come out in the meeting. The other thing you can do is build support among people who actually would Reinforce your view. So you're kind of, in effect staging these contexts to a great deal. The other thing that you can do that people talked about was setting expectations in the meetings of each agenda item, and the kinds of roles or access people would have to each. So some things we have on agendas. We're really just information gathering and this is where an enthusiast view may be more prevalent, right. That everything goes it's not like we have to go anywhere on it. Other cases you may want to give out information so those can be different. But then there are situations where you really want to accomplish a decision. And there establishing those expectations on each of those agenda items, as well as the kind of roles or the social structure that you would like your participants to have ahead of time can often render those contacts a little more functional if not even enjoyable to the participants. The reason I bring this up is because. A lot of people mention having horrible experiences in meetings, and I'm not immune to that either, so have those experiences as well. And I think the key thing is that if you're always in context where's no decision, or what I think of as no expectations were established. That you arrived at these meetings thinking, yeah, we're going to make a decision, we're going to go somewhere. Not all our agenda items are like that. So that's why I think staging those expectations may be of help in kind of helping you observe people's identities. How they see themselves, what latent kinds of conditions are out there in your organization. Through these kinds of open ended information gathering or information disseminating kinds of agenda items, but in the case that you want actual decisions to occur. You know establishing different expectations and different kinds of social structures and doing a lot of politicking before kind of coalition building. As well as kind of energy maintenance beforehand that that might go a long way toward making a productive meeting where if people show up. And you establish expectation that will make a decision that it might actually happen. And therefore, people don't feel like each meeting is some kind of waste of time because they often adopt a kind to a kind of efficiency of you. And it's not necessarily a case on every agenda item that that's helpful. So I think that's one way of preventing people from thinking about this is just one more bad meeting, right? So maybe that's some kind of managerial styles you can kind of establish. And of course you know it comes down to a point that you have these bad meetings I didn't post on my class should we get rid of those context. Should we not have those meetings? And so, like the students who were some of them were former teachers, others are from non profits and alike. And a lot of them said, if not all of them said, no, please don't get rid of the meeting. We just want to do better. So there's some symbolic value that people still feel for these kind of garbage can contexts where you are allowed to kind of express and they have this dynamic quality. But nonetheless, it's still upsetting to some people so It's kind of interesting in a sense that we may not enjoy that meanings tabloid much, but we still value them. So hopefully it's going to give you some sense of ideas of how to manage them better to kind of get rid of those feelings about inefficient meetings by establishing expectations. By presenting views as an enthusiast that this set of agenda items won't be of that nature, but it's still of value. And will help me as a manager better understand and you guys to understand each other. And then, on the other items where we really knew you'd make a decision, I can really establish different expectations and relationships as well as kind of do far more staging. That would facilitate that process. Now, one of the key things to know is, like, how you order your agenda, where you place an item, whether you place the easy ones at the end. Or at the front, so you build, like, this sense of consensus, is up to you. There are a variety of different theories of how to do that. But, the idea is that you're, basically, establishing conditions, in which A decision is going to happen. And hopefully you played the Tetris game right and when the piece arrives at the bottom it fits perfectly. And the idea's time has come and people find consensus. So I hope that's a long winded way of saying a variety of ideas about how to better manage in these contexts. And I do agree with Richard and with others that It's often descriptively accurately even if it might not always be the easiest to manage. And just knowing that much probably helps you understand at least why these meetings may not be the most productive, and maybe afford you a different way of thinking about them.