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31a. Are You Truly a Manager?

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A manager is someone accountable for the results of others… In my earlier post I asked this question: “If your manager is accountable for your results, then for what are you accountable?” My answer is simply , “You are responsible for doing your best.” The role of manager must beRead the Rest…

30a. Does a Manager Do Work?

People working around Table

Common words often have many meanings and interpretations. For example “work” is a common term often used to describe physical labor. It is also used to describe the location and/or company where you go to earn your paycheck. However if you are a manager, do you actually do “work”? AreRead the Rest…

29. What Elephant?

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I recently spoke with a couple younger managers frustrated over discord in their department. After some superficial discussion it became clear that a senior manager was routinely calling lower level technicians to gain information and insights on certain issues. These inquiries, while well intended, created crisis drills to gather theRead the Rest…

28. Managerial Leadership

Compass

In our society we tend to define leadership as something almost mystical. The ability to draw people to a certain idea and gain their commitment to the idea. Lincoln and Churchill are often mentioned as examples of great leaders. Leadership is considered to be something like a great sports figure’sRead the Rest…

27. Beware of Management Teenagers

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They are not really teens, but rather young energetic managers assigned a major task by senior management. These young managers in their zeal to make a name for themselves drive task implementation across the organization without regard for the impact to business results. This is analogous to young teens beingRead the Rest…

26. Managing the Problem Employee

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Every manager prefers to avoid dealing with an under-performing employee. The likelihood of conflict, time-consuming meetings and paperwork, struggling with the fairness issues, and wanting to be liked by everyone are all part of the challenge faced by a manager with a problem employee. There seems to be no perfectRead the Rest…

25. The Problem with Delegating

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I have read many of the books and articles compelling managers to delegate more. The implied, if not stated, conclusion is that managers should delegate everything possible. The problem with these quick fix gurus is the reality that each level of management has a defined role and all work atRead the Rest…

24. It’s All About Work

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I’m currently reading the book, It’s All About Work, Organizing Your Company To Get Work Done” by Clement and Clement. In chapter 7 the authors discuss their principle #3: Clearly define the nature of working relationships. They have simply and effectively explained how to avoid functional silos and how headquartersRead the Rest…

23. Requisite Organization

Compass

I am often amazed when some casual player in Requisite Organization (RO) principles decides to apply these principles to dysfunctional organization practices. For example, I read recently a post about how cross functional RO principles might be applied to a “matrix” organization. The comment essentially was about having two bossesRead the Rest…

22. Functional Stewardship

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A friend asked my opinion about “functional stewardship”. I assume the name comes from an attempt to justify centralizing certain functions for the good of maintaining state of the art capability in the function, or avoiding causing the mission of the function from becoming corrupted by conflicting priorities. The questionRead the Rest…

We all agree that it is good to be innovative, creative, and successful. The question is how to create the conditions to make it possible to be so... Dr Elliott Jaques in Requisite Organization