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一、经济学人杂志双语文章摘要

劳动力会分为有限的技术专家精英和大量从事低技能、无保障工作的“不稳定无产者”。但在加里·哈梅尔()和米歇尔·扎尼尼()这两位管理顾问看来,未来不必定要变得如此。唯有管理者放松集权倾向,将权力下放给各个业务部门,这一目标才能实现。

二、经济学人杂志双语文章中英对照翻译

Free the workers 解放工人
2020.10
What happens when companies try to devolve power
企业尝试下放权力会如何 

经济学人


MANY COMMENTATORS paint a bleak picture of the future of work. Automation will spread from manufacturing to services, eliminating well-paid white-collar jobs. The workforce will be divided into a narrow technocratic elite and a mass of low-skilled, insecure jobs in the “precariat”.
很多评论家把工作的未来描绘得一片黯淡。自动化将从制造业扩展到服务业,逐渐淘汰高薪白领工作。劳动力会分为有限的技术专家精英和大量从事低技能、无保障工作的“不稳定无产者”。
But it does not need to be this way, according to Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, two management consultants whose new book, “Humanocracy”, is as optimistic as its title is off-putting. They envisage a world in which low-skilled jobs can be enhanced—if only employees are given the chance to use their initiative and change the way they operate. “What makes a job low skilled is not the nature of the work it entails, or the credentials required, but whether or not the people performing the task have the opportunity to grow their capabilities and tackle novel problems,” they write.
但在加里·哈梅尔(Gary Hamel)和米歇尔·扎尼尼(Michele Zanini)这两位管理顾问看来,未来不必定要变得如此。他们的新书《人本体制》(Humanocracy)的书名有多讨厌,内容就有多乐观。在作者设想的世界里,低技能工作可以得到提升,前提是给予员工发挥主动性、转变工作方式的机会。他们写道,“导致一份工作低技能的原因既不是其工作性质,也不是要求具备的资质,而是执行任务的人是否有机会提升自己的能力,去解决新的问题。”
This can only be achieved if managers relax their centralising tendencies and devolve power to individual business units. Few big companies—Toyota and Netflix being notable exceptions—have followed this path. The authors finger the dead hand of bureaucracy.
唯有管理者放松集权倾向,将权力下放给各个业务部门,这一目标才能实现。很少有大公司会采取这种做法,除了丰田和奈飞(Netflix)这两个显著的例外。两位作者揭露出官僚主义阴魂不散。
Since 1983 the number of managers and administrators in the American workforce has more than doubled, while employment in other occupations has gone up by only 44%. One study of executives published in the Harvard Business Review found that the average respondent worked in an organisation with six management layers; in large organisations, it tended to be eight or more. Employees in the survey spent an average 27% of their time on bureaucratic chores, such as writing reports or documenting compliance.
自1983年来,美国劳动力队伍中行政和管理人员的数量翻了一番多,而其他岗位人数仅增长了44%。《哈佛商业评论》发表的一项对高管的调查发现,一般受访者供职的组织有六个管理层,而在大型组织中往往有八个或更多。参与调查的员工平均花27%的时间处理繁文缛节,比如写报告或记录合规情况。
The result of all this paperwork, say the authors, is a corporate organisation that promotes conformity and dulls enterprise: “it wedges people into narrow roles, stymies personal growth and treats human beings as mere resources.” They envisage a different model.
作者指出,所有这些文书工作的结果是形成了一个提倡循规蹈矩、弱化进取精神的企业组织:“它把人们塞进狭隘的角色里,阻碍了个人成长,把人视作纯粹的资源。”他们设想了一种不同的模式。
All employees should be encouraged to think like businesspeople, be organised into small teams with their own profit-and-loss accounts (and appropriate incentives), and be allowed to experiment. Units within decentralised companies should be able to negotiate the price of services and products provided by the rest of the group.
应该鼓励所有员工都像商人一样思考,把他们组织成有自己盈亏账目(和适当激励)的小团队,允许他们做各种尝试和试验。在去中心化的企业内,各部门应能对其他部门提供的服务和产品议价。
The book is full of practical examples. Buurtzorg, a Dutch provider of home health services, is split into more than 1,200 self-organising teams. Each team is responsible for tasks such as finding clients and recruiting workers, rather than putting such duties in the hands of regional managers. That allows an organisation with 15,000 employees to have a central staff of just over 100 people.
书中列举了丰富的实例。荷兰居家护理公司博组客(Buurtzorg)分成了1200多个自组织团队。每个团队负责开发客户和聘雇员工等任务,而不是将这些职责交到地区经理手中。这使得一个拥有1.5万名员工的组织仅有略多于100人的核心人员。
Another highly decentralised group is Nucor, an American steel company. Essentially it is a confederation of 75 divisions which carry out their own research and development, sales and marketing. Bonuses are paid to teams, not individuals. The result is that teams take the initiative. One rejected outside bids for replacing a furnace shell and designed it themselves, saving 90% of the cost. Morning Star, America’s largest and most profitable tomato processor, has no managers and no job titles; 500 “colleagues” work in teams spanning 20 business units. Each staff member contracts with the rest of the team to provide the services they require.
另一个高度分权的集团是美国纽柯(Nucor)钢铁公司。本质上,它是一家由75个部门组成的联盟,各部门自主完成研发、销售与营销。奖金支付给团队而非个人。其结果是团队积极主动地开展业务。其中一个团队拒绝了更换炉壳的外部投标,转而自己设计,节省下了90%的成本。全美最大、盈利最多的番茄加工企业晨星(Morning Star)没有管理者,也没有职务,500名“同事”在横跨20个业务部门的团队中工作。每名员工与团队其余部分签订合同,提供他们所需的服务。
The beauty of this approach, the authors argue, is that employees are more satisfied and motivated. This can lead to reduced staff turnover—and, potentially, to higher profits. In 2018, 20.5m Americans worked as managers or supervisors, with another 6.4m working in administrative support. Collectively, they took home more than $3.2trn in compensation, or nearly a third of the national wage bill. Cut this bill in half while also halving compliance costs, and American companies would save around $2.2trn a year, the authors estimate.
作者认为,这种方式的优点是员工的满意度更高,也更有积极性。这可以减少员工流动率——还有可能收获更高的利润。2018年有2050万名美国人担任经理或主管,另有640万人从事行政支持类工作。他们的报酬共计超过3.2万亿美元,占全国工资的近三分之一。作者估计,如果将这笔账单减半的同时也将合规成本减半,美国企业每年将节省约2.2万亿美元。
Such a cull would be bad news for some managers, of course. It could also be disruptive in the short term. But Messrs Hamel and Zanini may be onto something. Too many people feel dissatisfied with their jobs. A Gallup survey of American employees in 2019 found that less than a quarter said they were expected to be innovative in their job; only one in five felt their opinions mattered at work. Unleash their creativity, and productivity will improve, job satisfaction will increase and workers in supposedly “low-skilled” jobs will be free to demonstrate their abilities. If so, the future of work needn’t be gloomy after all.
当然,如此“裁员”对一些管理者来说会是个坏消息。这么做也可能在短期内造成混乱。但哈梅尔和扎尼尼所言可能也确有其道理。有太多人对自己的工作感到不满。2019年盖洛普对美国员工的一项调查发现,不到四分之一的人表示他们被期望在工作中有所创新,只有五分之一的人认为自己的意见在工作中得到重视。释放创造性,生产率就会提高,工作满意度也会提升,从事所谓“低技能”职业的劳动者就能自由展现自己的能力。如果是这样,工作的未来最终未必是黯淡的。

三、经济学人杂志双语文章中文译文

解放工人
企业尝试下放权力会如何 
很多评论家把工作的未来描绘得一片黯淡。自动化将从制造业扩展到服务业,逐渐淘汰高薪白领工作。劳动力会分为有限的技术专家精英和大量从事低技能、无保障工作的“不稳定无产者”。
但在加里•哈梅尔( )和米歇尔•扎尼尼( )这两位管理顾问看来,未来不必定要变得如此。他们的新书《人本体制》()的书名有多讨厌,内容就有多乐观。在作者设想的世界里,低技能工作可以得到提升,前提是给予员工发挥主动性、转变工作方式的机会。他们写道,“导致一份工作低技能的原因既不是其工作性质,也不是要求具备的资质,而是执行任务的人是否有机会提升自己的能力,去解决新的问题。”
唯有管理者放松集权倾向,将权力下放给各个业务部门,这一目标才能实现。很少有大公司会采取这种做法,除了丰田和奈飞()这两个显著的例外。两位作者揭露出官僚主义阴魂不散。
自1983年来,美国劳动力队伍中行政和管理人员的数量翻了一番多,而其他岗位人数仅增长了44%。《哈佛商业评论》发表的一项对高管的调查发现,一般受访者供职的组织有六个管理层,而在大型组织中往往有八个或更多。参与调查的员工平均花27%的时间处理繁文缛节,比如写报告或记录合规情况。
作者指出,所有这些文书工作的结果是形成了一个提倡循规蹈矩、弱化进取精神的企业组织:“它把人们塞进狭隘的角色里,阻碍了个人成长,把人视作纯粹的资源。”他们设想了一种不同的模式。
应该鼓励所有员工都像商人一样思考,把他们组织成有自己盈亏账目(和适当激励)的小团队,允许他们做各种尝试和试验。在去中心化的企业内,各部门应能对其他部门提供的服务和产品议价。
书中列举了丰富的实例。荷兰居家护理公司博组客()分成了1200多个自组织团队。每个团队负责开发客户和聘雇员工等任务,而不是将这些职责交到地区经理手中。这使得一个拥有1.5万名员工的组织仅有略多于100人的核心人员。
另一个高度分权的集团是美国纽柯()钢铁公司。本质上,它是一家由75个部门组成的联盟,各部门自主完成研发、销售与营销。奖金支付给团队而非个人。其结果是团队积极主动地开展业务。其中一个团队拒绝了更换炉壳的外部投标,转而自己设计,节省下了90%的成本。全美最大、盈利最多的番茄加工企业晨星( )没有管理者,也没有职务,500名“同事”在横跨20个业务部门的团队中工作。每名员工与团队其余部分签订合同,提供他们所需的服务。
作者认为,这种方式的优点是员工的满意度更高,也更有积极性。这可以减少员工流动率——还有可能收获更高的利润。2018年有2050万名美国人担任经理或主管,另有640万人从事行政支持类工作。他们的报酬共计超过3.2万亿美元,占全国工资的近三分之一。作者估计,如果将这笔账单减半的同时也将合规成本减半,美国企业每年将节省约2.2万亿美元。
当然,如此“裁员”对一些管理者来说会是个坏消息。这么做也可能在短期内造成混乱。但哈梅尔和扎尼尼所言可能也确有其道理。有太多人对自己的工作感到不满。2019年盖洛普对美国员工的一项调查发现,不到四分之一的人表示他们被期望在工作中有所创新,只有五分之一的人认为自己的意见在工作中得到重视。释放创造性,生产率就会提高,工作满意度也会提升,从事所谓“低技能”职业的劳动者就能自由展现自己的能力。如果是这样,工作的未来最终未必是黯淡的。