THE FACTS OF LIFE REGARDING MANAGEMENT
Posted by Tim Bryce on December 1, 2014
BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT
– One of four new books from Tim; this book provides lessons well suited for those aspiring to become effective managers.
The following are excerpts from the Introduction of my new book, “THE FACTS OF LIFE REGARDING MANAGEMENT,” one of four new books I recently introduced, available in paper and Kindle eBook formats from Amazon.
When I graduated from college I became immersed in computers, specifically how they were applied to expedite corporate information systems. This led me down a path of management consulting where I was fortunate to have toured quite a bit of the world, visiting companies of all sizes and shapes, and people from the trenches to the boardroom. It was a very enlightening journey. I learned a lot about technology, but more importantly I learned a lot about people. For example, I discovered systems fail more for the lack of people procedures as opposed to computer procedures. To illustrate, my firm had a large manufacturing customer who designed a new “state-of-the-art” shop-floor control system whereby they wanted to spot errors along the assembly line and then quickly react and correct the hiccup. From a software perspective, it was a well thought-out and elegant solution coupled with an integrated data base. There was just one problem; it didn’t work. Consequently, we were called in on a consulting basis to try and determine what was wrong. We carefully examined the architecture of the system overall, not just the software, and quickly found the problem; Whenever an error occurred on the shop-floor, an error message was displayed on a computer screen for the shop-floor supervisor to act upon. Unfortunately, nobody told the supervisor about the computer screen, the messages, or procedurally how to respond to it. We wrote a simple procedure for the supervisor who then read and responded to the errors properly and the system ran perfectly thereafter. Our client thought we were geniuses; we thought it was nothing more than common sense.
Unlike the computer which will do anything you instruct it to, right or wrong, writing for the human being is actually more difficult. People are more emotional and can be lazy and uncooperative at times. Writing for people, therefore, can be an arduous task. Such scenarios led me to the conclusion we often take people for granted in companies today. They are certainly not machines, but flesh and blood with all of the foibles of being human.
Here in the 21st century, the corporate world seems to have embraced “micromanagement,” a top-down, dictatorial form of management. Although I will discuss this in more detail within the pages of this book, I consider micromanagement a Master/Slave relationship which has little regard for the human spirit. I believe in the dignity of all forms of work and that the human being must lead a worthy life. As such, I fervently believe in “Managing from the Bottom-Up” whereby people are trusted and empowered to perform their work, and supervise themselves.
Within this book, I am less interested in promoting a cockamamie theory of management, such as “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” and more concerned with practical advice on managing people. What is discussed herein is based on actual observations and proven techniques found to be sound and practical for business management.
There are eight sections in the book:
1. THE NATURE OF WORK – describing the dignity and morality of work.
2. PERCEPTIONS – what we act upon, and the basic theories of management.
3. MANAGEMENT – the skills required to be an effective manager.
4. SPECIAL SUBJECTS – topics related to management; e.g., Customer Service, Work Measurement, etc.
5. SOCIALIZATION SKILLS – techniques for improving your people skills.
6. EPILOGUE – concluding comments.
7. QUOTATIONS – related to management.
8. BRYCE’S LAWS – those related to management.
I always viewed “management” as a people oriented function, not a mechanical function (which is why “man” is used as part of the word). I define it as, “getting people to do what you want, when you want it, and how you want it.” The corporate landscape has changed considerably since I first entered the work force in the 1970’s. Thanks to changes in government regulations and socioeconomic conditions, we have witnessed substantial changes to corporate cultures in terms of communications, fashion, socialization, morality, and how we conduct business. Despite all this, one thing has remained constant: the need to get a job done, and this is the domain of the manager.
Quite often management is taken for granted, that it comes naturally to people. It doesn’t. I see companies spending millions of dollars on technology but little on improving the skills of its managers. To me, this is putting the cart before the horse. Some people are afraid to manage; probably because they do not know how to or because they live in fear of a lawsuit. Others devise harebrained schemes to manage their area (usually involving the manipulation of numbers). There is actually nothing magical to management; all it requires is a little common sense. However, as I have learned over the last 30 years in business, if there is anything uncommon today, it is common sense. I wrote this book because management is not naturally intuitive to people, nor is it painless.
This book is well suited for those aspiring to become effective managers, as well as for those who require a refresher or change of focus. It should also be read by workers to better understand what is required of a manager, thereby lending him the support he desperately needs to fulfill his duty. Some of you may not like what I have to say, and I warn you that I am not always politically correct. Regardless, my observations are based on years of experience traveling around the world and visiting with hundreds of different types of corporations where I have seen a lot of successes, as well as a lot of snafus.
Throughout this book you will hear about such things as corporate culture, empowering the workers (managing from the bottom-up), and the need for developing the socialization skills of the next generation of our workers; in other words, the human elements of management. This is one reason why our corporate slogan is “Software for the finest computer – the Mind,” for in the end, it is the human-being that matters most, not our technology.
Tim’s “Uncommon Sense Series” is available in paperbook and eBook format. For information, click HERE
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Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
NEXT UP: THE FACTS OF LIFE REGARDING MANAGEMENT – One of four new books from Tim; this book provides lessons well suited for those aspiring to become effective managers.
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