framework supporting that Methodology is in the public domain, having been published in many forms. The Adizes Methodology is typically understood to include this conceptual framework, such that the term ‘Methodology’ is flexibly used to apply both to the publicly available conceptual material and the 11-phase proprietary intervention plan. My use of the terms ‘Adizes’ and ‘Adizes Methodology’ refers only to the conceptual framework, not the intervention program.
Management/Mismanagement Styles, Leading the Leaders and The Ideal Executive, among others, described in more detail at www.adizes.com.
Table of Contents
Situating the Adizes Methodology
PAEI: The Adizes Concern Structure Model
preferences and biases have to be generally understood.
exemplify the styles he describes. They are introduced below, and they illustrate the structure of concern in the field of personality, although the characters are clearly simplified. Each one represents a single, unadmixed dominant style, rather than the unique mixture of all four styles that
characterizes most adult human beings.
Adizes Prototypical Management Styles
and start implementing on them.
Administrators as fussy obstructionists.
a timely, proactive manner.
Conflict of Styles
even cease to recognize the existence of that class of concerns. They begin to manage all of their problems with the conspicuous disregard of a whole category of concerns, and their decisions begin to show predictable patterns of failure. The unbalanced kind of management that ensues is called
mismanagement in the Adizes Methodology.
These mismanagement styles help to highlight the competing values within the model. They are described below, one for each PAEI element.
Adizes Mismanagement Styles
The Lone Ranger
execution matters much less than task completion. Lone Rangers prefer to do all tasks themselves, because for any one task it is easier and quicker for them to do it themselves rather than training someone else to do it. This has the ironic outcome that Lone Rangers – who are interested in rapid execution to the exclusion of all else – end up becoming bottlenecks in the organization where work sometimes grinds to a near halt. Lone Rangers do not build effective work teams around them. Their employees tend to become simple errand-runners for the Lone Ranger as he or she manages tasks by crisis.
Lone Rangers make poor managers because they try to manage tasks directly, rather than managing the team that does the tasks. Their strong preference for concrete, tangible results and their inability to assess other kinds of outcomes leads to this untenable situation. Lone Rangers place a
severe limitation on the capacity of a team to grow. The team never gains the capacity to do more work than the Lone Ranger him or herself is capable of doing.
methods are being followed. If an employee was to circumvent a rule or two to accomplish some important task, this would be a disaster. The Bureaucrat would devote all energies to punishing the wrongdoer for side-stepping a rule, completely ignoring the important results that this side-stepping made possible. No results in the world would justify “taking shortcuts”. Just because taking shortcuts worked this time does not mean it will work next time. Rather, total chaos and an unspeakable cascade of complications might occur, violating rule after rule after rule. Better to follow the rules – that’s the point. The rules say we should follow the rules, and so those are the rules we should follow. It’s the only way.
may become insolvent and go under, but it will do so on time and according to regulations.
delivering value to stakeholders.
newly announced ideas, but to ignore the substance of those new announcements and to continue working on some project or another to the point of completion. The irony of the Arsonist is that someone who craves being at the center of everyone’s attention and esteem ends up being
irrelevant, marginalized and ignored by all around them.
The Super Follower
particular. They simply echo or parrot back the mood and language of the powerful or the dominant clique. Super Followers are sometimes so good at following that they do so before anyone has a chance to lead. They will gauge the mood, tone and emerging consensus of a meeting, and then stand up and articulate that consensus as if it was their own contribution. They will only do this when they feel certain of the consensus, however. Super Followers are conflict averse, so if they are confronted with some residual conflict while they try to articulate the consensus, they may shift their articulated position on a dime, so as always to seem to be in agreement with whoever they are interacting with. This kind of face-to-face agreement characterizes all of their interactions with important or powerful people. The issues don’t matter. Being on the right side is the only thing they care about.
of organizations, and when they do, they still seek out a powerful reference group to please. There will be a set of stakeholders, constituents or commentators that the Super Follower will try to impress and appease. They “govern by opinion poll”, taking no particular stand on any issues until it is clear what the reference group wants to hear.
cumbersome regulations can actually impede first responders, so finding the right balance of P and A is crucial for this predominantly Productive function. Similarly, training scenarios and simulations of possible disasters (E) are important for emergency preparedness, but these scenarios should not
be misrecognized as exhaustive of the true range of possible situations that first responders may be faced with (P). It must always be remembered that truth is stranger than fiction, and that P-style on-the-ground, results-driven flexibility matters more than prior rehearsal. Finally, I-style concerns
regarding the cohesiveness between different response services are important, as is the degree of Integration within the community being helped. Ideally, there will have been a long-term investment in I, since well integrated communities pull together in a crisis. If this was not done, the lack of I in a region will bedevil efforts to aid victims no matter how severe their privation.
Adizes Organizational Lifecycles
described in ten phases: Courtship, Infancy, Go-Go, Adolescence, Prime, Stable, Aristocracy, Early Bureaucracy, Late Bureaucracy and Death. Each phase has its unique PAEI needs, and specific consequences for PAEI mismatches. The phases and their concern structure requirements are
are exciting! The enthusiasm of the originator of the idea can be profoundly contagious, pulling other people into the excitement. This excitement is what fuels the creation of the founding team and the willingness of supporters to consider investment. A grand vision is being proposed. The potential new
founder is often very charismatic at this stage in the organizational lifecycle, impassioned and full of big dreams, though sketchy on details. The excitement must thus be directed towards motivating people to reality-test the new Entrepreneurial concept.
excitement must be harnessed to build commitment among people who join the enterprise, proportionate to the risks of the venture. If commitment does not develop, then the Courtship burns out as an Arson-like Affair, a product of E-style activity only, generating a lot of flash and noise but producing no lasting value.
first place). The organization will be paying for itself, no longer requiring protection or support from the outside. The founders will be able to lean back and see the organization moving on its own steam, while at the same time opportunities for more work appear everywhere. The Go-Go organization is like a toddler, growing quickly, touching everything they come across, and
gaining new experience and capability all the time. Founders can come to have too many priorities, making it impossible for them to continue to lead the organization as individuals.
project. If over-centralized control is maintained (both P and E are focal or centralizing styles) then the organization will never grow any larger than that size which the founder can personally manage as a single individual. There will be a Lone Ranger-like bottleneck at the top of the organization, called the Founder’s Trap. In order to grow past this point, the organization has to grow bigger than the founding group can directly control. They have to reorganize themselves, and they have to learn how to work with others.
trimming waste and boosting profits (A), even if that means that sales numbers go down. Furthermore, the ad hoc, relationship-based reporting lines and job descriptions need to be dissolved and replaced by a more principled organizational structure. Professional managers with business
school backgrounds may be hired to do this, but they will immediately be at odds with the founding group. The newcomers will treat the job as a job, and they will not understand all of the relationships and customs that were built up among the old-timers. There will be some pressure to oust these technocratic-seeming newcomers. Or alternatively, there may be pressure
applied by the new professional managers to oust the founders for their ad hoc, unschooled, intuitive manner of running a large company.
producing results for clients with all of the vision and aggressiveness of a Go-Go organization, but in a much more predictable fashion. The organization can do more, and do better as well, continuing to enjoy efficiency gains from process improvements.
and the day to day management of less volatile, older projects. If the organization grows complacent, it may delay or stop launching new projects, and just ride out the momentum of previous accomplishments. This manifests itself first as a lack of E. Losing E means the loss of the organization’s capacity for innovation. The company may still grow, but at a slower and slower rate. The complacent organization will eventually suffer a major reversal of fortune.
organizations, often Go-Go companies, to try to inject the missing energy and vitality back into the group. However, the heavy top-down administration of Aristocratic organizations often smothers the energetic Go-Gos. Aristocracies are often takeover targets themselves, due again to their tendency to pile up cash. When they are taken into other organizations, their ineffectiveness and remoteness from their client base may become painfully obvious.
nobody breaks ranks to express the bad news. Those last few who might are marginalized and finally excluded. Form rules over function.
Early Bureaucracy [-A—]
denial ruptures, and the hunt for scapegoats begins. Everybody begins to blame everyone else. Usually, the last few productive leaders are the first to be purged. Occasional purges continue, and this activity continues to divert attention from the actual marketplace and the client needs the organization serves. Customers continue to be treated like inconvenient annoyances that distract people from the “really” important work of internal politics.
Late Bureaucracy [-A—]
explicit control and order is seen as an antidote to the chaos of Early Bureaucracy. The cohesive culture of the Aristocracy is swept away, leaving a set of rules and strictures in its place. Top managers, middle managers and workers may all come and go without much effect. The organization has its own inertia and cannot be redirected or budged from where it is.
produce any kind of value proportionate to its vast and cumbersome size, and it is almost entirely insulated from change.
their subsidy is removed, they decline towards Death.
occurs for purely political reasons.