Recently I was on an commercial air flight and was greeted by a bit of corporate sloganeering that accompanied by meal (yes, you guessed correctly that I was on an international flight). The napkin shouted out in bold blue text, “Planes change. Values don’t. Your priorities will always be ours.” Continue reading →
Whenever I hear a manager talk about personnel in a complaining tone that focuses on their lack of motivation, sloppiness, and all the other shortcomings that managers so frequently speak or or think about, I am reminded of a central fact about business.((1))Continue reading →
this actually applies to any organization where there is a hierarchy, non-profits, education, government, and more [↩]
The other day I was talking with a business owner about her people management practices. In comparing some thoughts about how to effectively supervise people she noted that waving your finger and giving instructions was almost always a non-starter. She said that she thought that “people need to be brought around softly”. Continue reading →
A Truly Terrible, Over Used Acronym – An Indicator of a Sloppy Culture
ASAP – “as soon as possible”, this acronym has been in use for over 50 years. Its use is ubiquitous.
ASAP is all too frequently slapped on to every memo or email where a dues date is to be found. How does this help to prioritize work? What does it say about the person making the request? Will sometime tomorrow be just as good? Maybe next week sometime? Perhaps the requestor does not really know when they need it. When does the person requesting really need it? Is this a symptom of out of control work processes? Continue reading →
Bruce Temkin has published a free book on his blog((1)), The 6 New Management Imperatives – Leadership Skills for a Radically Changed Business Environment. Mr. Temkin sets out to define a “new set of skills” for managers. These are the 6 new imperatives:
Invest in culture as a corporate asset
Make listening an enterprisewide (sic) skill
Turn innovation into a continuous process
Provide a clear and compelling purpose
Extend and enhance the digital fabric
Practice good social citizenship
Lists like this one are very popular. I have been known to make lists of key practices and the like. But for the practicing manager lists are frequently tough to integrate into day-to-day work. Mr. Temkin’s six imperatives falls into this problem category. Overall, the six imperatives are reasonable enough as they stand. But I want to take a closer look at each and then suggest a more global approach. Continue reading →
I receive a regular email titled, “Management Intelligence…… from Edward de Bono and Robert Heller”((1)) . Their most recent email was “Management Intelligence: A proven checklist for business success”. Here is the checklist they provided:
THINK simply and directly about what you are doing and why?
BEHAVE towards others as you wish them to behave towards you?
EVALUATE each business and business opportunity with total, fact-based objectivity?
CONCENTRATE on what you do well?
ASK questions ceaselessly about performance, markets and objectives?
MAKE MONEY- knowing that, if you don’t, you can’t make anything else?
ECONOMISE always seeking Limo (Least Input for Most Output)?
FLATTEN the organisation to spread authority and responsibility?
ADMIT to your own failings and shortcomings and correct them?
SHARE the benefits of success with all those who helped to achieve it?
TIGHTEN up the organisation wherever and whenever you can because familiarity breeds slackness?
ENABLE everybody to optimise their individual and group contribution?
SERVE your customers with all their requirements to standards of perceived excellence in quality?
TRANSFORM performance by innovating creatively in products and processes including the processes of management?
Again from this email concerning this list: “These questions penetrate to the heart of successful management. They have passed, and will pass, the test of time.
This list looks a lot like others I have seen, and certainly many entries would be on such a list that I might create. But, whenever I see lists like this, I say to myself, “Great, but how do I do this?” Lets just take number 15, for example, “Transform performance by innovating….”. What business processes do I put in place that assure that these results are regularly and sustainably produced? Or, what approaches and tools do I deploy to achieve number 8, “Economize…” ? Again, are there tools and approaches available that assure the we meet number 13, “ENABLE everybody to optimize their individual and group contribution?” Continue reading →