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 2

Managing motivation: an opportunity and a challenge It is one thing to understand the nature and dynamics of motivation and quite another to apply that understanding as a manager. It is the difference between “knowing how” and “knowing that” as Gilbert Ryle expressed it and it is also the key message of the books “The knowing-doing gap” or “Execution: the discipline of getting things done”. Your primary responsibility as the manager is to create the environment within which people can motivate themselves. In this respect it is more akin to a facilitator than as a controller. You need to be [...]

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 [...]