Why Management is Always Incompetant (In Theory)posted by Anna Mar, February 13, 2013
What's your level of incompetence?
The Peter Principle is a popular business theory introduced in a 1969 book of the same name.
According to the theory, most employees (and especially managers) are incompetent.
How Accurate Is It?The Peter Principle is more or less scientific.
If an organization promotes everyone the year that they become competent at their job, it can be shown (with a few assumptions) that everyone will quickly rise to their level of incompetence.
If an organization waits until a employee is competent enough for the next level before promoting them — the model breaks down.
In most organizations, there's a grain of truth to the Peter Principle.
How To Avoid IncompetenceAccording to the Peter Principle, organizations that wish to avoid incompetence shouldn't promote people until they've already demonstrated competence in a new role.
Create Heroes in Every ProfessionMany organizations have only one path up: management. In such organizations, top performers are pushed into management.
In other words, if you're a great computer programmer you're rewarded with a job that has nothing to do with programming.
Organizations wishing to avoid incompetence should create promotion-paths in every profession. For example, promote a skilled Programmer to Senior Programmer. Promote a skilled Senior Programmer to Architect etc...
It can be a mistake to put your top people in every profession into management.
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