Topic 81 Getting it done - Part 2: Groups big & small  20 September 2019

1. Dictators argue that they can get things done, while democracy is slow and messy. What do you think?

2. In Australian schools, some teachers give students choices about projects. Other teachers just tell the students what to do? What do you think is good and bad about each approach?

3. A politician is supposed to represent many people. These people might have conflicting interests with each other. How can a politician solve the problem of conflicting interests?

4. Some families are very democratic. Everybody in the family has a say in what the family does. But in some families the father strictly decides what everyone should do. What do you think is the best system? Why?

5. Sports teams (e.g. football) usually follow the advice of their coach strictly if they are professional. If it is just playing for fun, usually players do what they want (within the game rules). Which do you think is the best way to play team sports like this? Why?

6. Some companies and governments have a "blame culture". If you make a mistake you are in big trouble. Other companies and governments concentrate on finding what caused the mistake so it won't happen again. Then people don't worry about admitting mistakes. Do you think 'blame culture' is a good idea? Why or why not? [comment: in my personal experience hospitals often have a blame culture. Busy Sydney airport, when I worked there in 1972, had a no-blame culture and there were rarely accidents].

7. Many people like working in organizations because they feel part of a team. Other people hate working in organizations because they like to make independent decisions. Which kind of person are you? What made you that way?

8. With the Internet you can "mentally migrate" away from work. A lot of employees in companies spend time on the Internet when they should be working. It is very hard to stop. How would you solve this problem if you were a manager?

9. If you were the manager of a company, how would you organize your employees to get things done best?

10. Managers are supposed get things done. A report in Harvard Business Review said that only 10% managers are useful. 90% of them "spin their wheels", inventing jobs to look busy, but actually costing companies money. How would you solve this problem?

81 Getting it done - Part 2: Groups big & small ©Thor May 2019