HiPPO is an acronym for highest paid person’s opinion. This term is mainly used to describe the tendency by lower paid professionals to refer all critical decisions to the highest paid employee. Also used to describe the reliance of human instincts by an organization rather than facts and data in decision. In this kind of organizational structure it is natural for HiPPOS to call the shots at the expense of good ideas that are either kept to one’s self due to the notion that their idea is not as important or shunned away because they are from a ‘lesser’ staff. It is therefore safe to say that the HIPPO mentality causes more harm than good to any given organization.
Mainly observed in smaller organizations/startups, many are times that a great design or plan is turned down by say a leadershp member for no other reason other than it is not appealing to his eyes or not what he had envisioned and with that a lot of hard work and effort put in by the employees goes down the drain. In this case HIPPO affects innovation as once the employees learn the preference of the HiPPO they will stop thinking out of the box but work with the aim of pleasing them, playing it safe and with that a lot of what could have otherwise been great innovations never come to life. if employees are given the freedom to come up with ideas without the fear that it will come down to one person to decide their fate or without a thought at the back of their minds that they have to please a particular persons then they will be at their creative best and great innovations are bound to come out of this.
The HiPPO mentality also goes with the micromanagement which is an organizational structure whereby a senior observes and controls the work of the employees that work under them. in this style of management the senior involves himself/herself in all the steps of a process without delegating duties and many are times when they get irritated when even the most minor of decision is made without their consent. Leaders should avoid micro managing as it has more negatives than positives (if any)
First and foremost micromanagement hinders innovation. Employees cannot come up with new ideas or innovations without having to constantly consult the HiPPO. Workers become ‘puppets’ who wait to be told what to do rather than risk takers and innovators. The employees with skills and great ideas are forced to either keep their ideas to themselves or leave the company for a company that appreciates their efforts.
Micromanagement also greatly slows down the rate at which work flows. Before any decision is made the HIPPO has to approve. His absence means that no work is done, no meeting can be held in their absence, no document signed. A lot of progress would have been made if the manager would just delegate duties to his/her minors. In a case where a certain organization is in dire need of a quick turnaround this could be a major blow.
Micromanagement discourages team work among the employees. This is because the workers don’t work together. Their main aim is to please the HIPPO and no one else. The employees will see no need of working together to come up with great ideas when they know in the end it will come down to one person.
Micromanaging can be very demoralizing to the employee. Most micro-managers tend to delegate duties to their minors and then micromanage it. This is so that they take credit in case of it success and pin the blame on the employees for its failure. The employees therefore know that their hard work will never be appreciated. These are just but a few of the negative effects of micromanagement and the HIPPO mentality.
It is a proven fact that employees that work at their best with minimal supervision and if they are allowed to express their own individuality without working towards a goal of impressing someone in this case the HIPPO. It is very important for employers to avoid using the micromanagement style and allow for its workers to be empowered so as to bring out their full potential. Individual empowerment is very important for any team to yield maximum potential. It is therefore safe to say that as much as the highest paid person’s opinion is important it should not always be the final decision as this greatly affects the innovation of the employees which is very important for any particular organization to succeed.