Fire 50% Of Managers (At Random)
A.K.A. "Thanos Management"
- Fire each manager by coin-flip.
- Reconfigure your org.
- Ask deep questions.
1. Fire each manager by coin-flip.
For each manager in your org chart, flip a coin. “Fire” them if tails.
Alternatively, shuffle your managers in a list and dispose of the top half. This is easy to do in a spreadsheet program or BASH.
A “manager” is anybody who manages subordinates. In technical terms, managers are non-leaf nodes in your org chart.
Alternatively, managers can be defined as “non-IC workers” or “people who don’t directly work on anything that touches customers”.
2. Reconfigure your org.
Create a new org chart with the remaining members of your org.
All workers can be promoted/demoted/transferred in any combination.
3. Ask deep questions.
- Could your org survive this arrangement without hiring for 1 year? Could your org be profitable?
- Could your org survive if you refilled some lost positions immediately?
- Could your org survive this arrangement if you picked which 50% of managers were fired? If so, why haven’t you fired them?
- Would saved labor costs exceed lost profits?
- Do you think other similar orgs would survive this exercise? What makes your org more or less resilient than others?
- Consider bus factor. Which individuals are replacable? Which individuals are critically needed? Are the two cohorts paid the same? Are they given similar responsibilities?
- Should any managers be moved to IC work? Should any IC workers be moved to management?
- What is an ideal team size for your org? Is your org too flat or too stacked?
- How do departments differ in their team compositions? What should departments learn from each other?
- If you moved the managers to IC work instead of firing them, would the added communication overhead exceed the productivity gains?
- If you paid the remaining workers half of the saved labor costs, could your company survive?
- Are there any training or courses you could provide to individuals to make your org better? e.g. coding bootcamps, product design courses, management training
This is an exercise.
Please do not literally fire half of management at random.