Your Mission #5: Manage Unit Performance

Managing the performance of your business unit, regardless of its size, is the most important contribution you can make to the ongoing success of the business as a whole. It is when managers avoid or abrogate this responsibility that serious problems begin to take root and grow. Poor performance is tolerated and the signal to good performers is that their efforts don’t count for much. Why manage performance? Why would you bother managing unit performance? There are a lot of good reasons for doing performance management well and these are a few of the most important: It makes positive contributions [...]

Your Mission #4: Understand Motivation – Part 1

Motivation works In 1757 Admiral John Byng was shot by firing squad on the quarter-deck of the ship, HMS Monarch, as a result of his leadership in the Battle of Minorca, at the beginning of the Seven Years War. Voltaire commented in his book, Candide, that "in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others”. Byng was condemned for failing to “do his utmost” to prevent Minorca from falling to the French and it ushered in a period of British naval supremacy that lasted to the beginning of World [...]

Your Mission #3: Build your unit’s capabilities

Effective managers build their unit’s capabilities Capability is the power or ability to do something and capabilities show the range and extent to which things can be done. In the case of a management unit, regardless of its level in the organisation, its capabilities are to create value as I have noted in Your Mission #1: Enable your team to create value. Building the capabilities of your management unit, to create value for your customers and the organisation as a whole, is one of the most important contributions of an effective manager. It provides both long and short-term benefits and while [...]

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it…

Why is Management Still Relevant? In 2010 the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “The End of Management” not as a question but as a statement. While providing a hat tip to the view of Peter Drucker that management was "the most important innovation of the 20th century” and the contributions of the management leaders of the late 19th and early 20th century, the article argues that what we have learned about management from the past may not be as relevant today. The article implies an important question: “Is this really the end of management as we know it?” Management, as a practical [...]

Working with a Micromanager

Key Point: Your career success depends on your ability to form productive and effective working relationships with a wide range of people. Do focus on how to build those relationships and don’t be distracted by labels to which you attach too much meaning. The world in which we work is more fluid and unstructured… Organisational structures and operating relationships are far more fluid these days and while the hierarchical organisation chart might exist, the “reporting” relationships can extend well beyond the boundaries of that formal structure. It may be matrixed, networked, team-based or any other form but the point is [...]

Executive Sponsorship is a real job

Every business improvement initiative needs Executive Sponsorship because every improvement initiative involves change. To effect the change you will need resources, decisions, insights, influence and leadership, however, the big question is "What is the Executive Sponsor actually supposed to do?" Don't make the assumption that this additional role is hardwired into their DNA and don't assume they will ask if they are not sure. If you get an experienced sponsor with a track record of success then you are well on your way. If you get a sponsor who is too time poor, doesn't fully understand the real benefits of [...]