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Bottom to top vs Top to bottom

There are two distinct styles of management. One I call bottom to top and the other is top to bottom. Recently I’ve been exposed to both styles exemplified in two companies I’m involved in.

Bottom to top. It’s more process driven situation. You take some employees and you focus on their growth. You take some actions and you build upon them. The focus is on iterating your actions quickly and discovering market opportunities, capacities of your team. Ability to change direction as you move along is the key. There’s a lot of validation in communication and the process itself.

Top to bottom. It’s more target driven situation. You take your top targets and you divide them into projects that lead to the expected end result for the company. You take your projects, you allocate tasks and people to execute them. The focus is on targets, numbers and facts. There’s a lot of validation against numbers, dates, and hard facts that are measured within the team.

So now, which management model is the right one? Let’s have a look at some benefits and down sides.

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