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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

WHO REALLY ASSUMES RISK?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 25, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– The employee or the employer?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

“The amount of risk we assume is proportional to the responsibilities we accept.” – Bryce’s Law

Not long ago I was meeting with some software developers from a small company who expressed their concern about the risk involved with a project they were working on. They weren’t so much concerned about the viability of the project in terms of its impact on the company as they were with the potential effect it might have on their professional careers. In other words, they saw this as a high risk project that could affect them for years to come. This may be true, but from their description I saw their risk as minuscule in comparison to what their employer was gambling which, frankly, was the company’s future.

This got me thinking about how we perceive risk in our professional lives. Most employees perceive risk in terms of how it affects them professionally, particularly as a source of income. In reality, it is the employer who assumes all of the risk. If something goes wrong, it will be the employer who will be sued, not the employee. It will be the employer who has to deal with government regulators and creditors, not the employee, It will be the employer who loses financially and faces bankruptcy, not the employee. In fact, most employees do not appreciate the risk required to simply open the company’s doors for business. Their life is rather simple as compared to the business owner who agonizes over the company’s survival.

Risk is not for everyone, it is for those entrepreneurial spirits who are not afraid of taking a gamble; who recognizes both the risks and rewards for taking it. True risk requires a “Type A” personality (which we have discussed in the past) who knows how to study variables, calculate odds and return on investment, and is willing to assume the responsibility for taking it. It is most definitely not for the faint of heart.

This brings up a point: The degree of risk increases the higher you go in the corporate hierarchy. Whether you are cognizant of it or not, as you assume additional responsibilities in a company, through a promotion for example, you are also being saddled with additional risks, and your success depends on your ability to assume the risks and conquer them. Some people rise to the occasion, others face the Peter Principle whereby they cannot rise above their level of competency. Nevertheless, true risk is assumed by the highest echelons in the corporate structure, regardless of the size of business. And it is this sense of risk that greatly influences our style of management.

We should also understand the difference between taking a risk and being rash in judgment. The two are not synonymous. I always exemplify it by using a game of Craps as found in a casino; the rash person simply throws his wager on the table without thinking, but the person who studies the game and knows the odds before he places a bet is the one taking the calculated risk. The higher you go up in business, the more you appreciate the need for studying the odds.

As any business owner will tell you, employees really do not grasp the concept of risk. I think the following quote pretty much sums it up:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails Daring Greatly so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt

First published: December 7, 2007

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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WHY DOES PROJECT MANAGEMENT FAIL?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 11, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– We tend to underestimate its scope and mechanics.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

INTRODUCTION

In addition to problems related to the activities of Project Management (e.g., planning, estimating, scheduling, reporting, and control), I often run into companies who ask the simple question, “Why can’t we get our act together? Why does Project Management routinely fail in our company?”

I do not believe a company’s overall problems in Project Management can be attributed to a specific tool or technique (although some certainly do not help matters). Instead, I believe it is based on how important a company considers Project Management to be. If they believe it to be a vital part of the company’s overall performance, it will be more successful than a company who considers it irrelevant. In other words, I view Project Management as an integral part of the corporate culture.

Let’s consider the indicators of how a company values Project Management:

* LACK OF KNOWLEDGE – employees simply lack the basic knowledge of the mechanics of Project Management. I do not run into too many companies anymore with a total absence of knowledge in this regard. The conceptual foundation of Project Management has been around for a number of years. There is a multitude of training programs in Project Management, both at the college and commercial level. There are also several discussion groups on the Internet and professional associations dealing with this subject (e.g., the Project Management Institute of Newtown Square, PA). Hiring or contracting people with absolutely no knowledge of basic Project Management concepts is becoming a rarity.

* LACK OF ORGANIZATIONAL POLICY – the company has not adopted a formal policy for managing projects. Consequently, informal and inconsistent approaches to project management are used with mixed results. This is a much more common occurrence than finding a company devoid of knowledge in Project Management.

* LACK OF ENFORCEMENT OF POLICY AND PROCEDURES – even though a policy has been established, it is not enforced. As a result, inconsistent results emerge. If a standard and consistent approach to Project Management is devised by a company, it must be routinely policed in order to assure accuracy and uniform results. It is one thing to enact legislation, quite another to enforce it.

* LACK OF CONSIDERATION FOR THE MAGNITUDE AND COMPLEXITIES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ATTACK IT IN PIECE MEAL – People seem to naturally underestimate the magnitude of project management. For example, project planning involves defining work breakdown structures and dependencies which is a precursor to estimating, planning, reporting and control; estimating is a prerequisite to scheduling; time reporting impacts project estimates and schedules; resource allocation is based on availability of qualified people (skills inventory) and current project schedules; etc. There is an overwhelming number of software packages on the market attacking various aspects of Project Management, but very few addressing it is an integrated whole.

It must be remembered that project management is first and foremost a philosophy of management, not an elaborate set of tools and techniques, nor is it an administrative function. Rather, it is concerned with managing human beings towards the accomplishment of work (it is a “people management” function). As such, project management will only be as effective as the people who use it.

Ultimately, project management represents DISCIPLINE, ORGANIZATION, and ACCOUNTABILITY; which are three areas people seem to have a natural aversion to these days.

DISCIPLINE – In the western world, people tend to resist discipline because some believe it inhibits creativity and personal freedom. As a result, teamwork is often sacrificed in favor of rugged individualism.

ORGANIZATION – Pursuant to discipline is the problem of organization. Again, in the western world, people prefer to maintain their own identity and organize themselves to meet their needs as opposed to the needs of the organization. There are also those who claim, “A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind.” Hogwash. In contrast, I am a believer of the Navy’s regimen whereby you either work on something, file it, or throw it away. This forces people to get organized. If we need more files, let’s get them. A cluttered desk is a sign of a disorganized person. Shape up, or ship out.

ACCOUNTABILITY – This is an area people tend to rebel against the most. The approach to project management, as advocated by “PRIDE,” ultimately represents visibility and responsibility to produce according to plan. Unfortunately, some people shun commitments and, instead, prefer to hide their activity, thereby they cannot be measured and evaluated. This is typically the reaction of people who are insecure. People who are confident in their abilities have no problem with the accountability issue.

REACTIVE VS. ACTIVE MANAGEMENT

The old adage, “If you do not make the decision, the decision will be made for you,” is valid. This also sums up the difference between an active and a reactive manager. True Project Management requires an “active” manager, not “reactive.” The active manager takes care of the problems before they happen. They plan on the future. The reactive manager deals with yesterday and waits until problems occur, then tries to take care of them. Today, more and more IT organizations find themselves in a constant “firefighting” mode of operation. Why? Because of a “reactive” management style. The “reactive” manager never seems to get ahead, yet probably enjoys the highest visibility in the company. As an aside, beware of your “firefighters,” they are probably your chief arsonists.

Managers don’t wait for things to happen, they make things happen.

HOW MUCH PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS NECESSARY?

Can the philosophies of project management be adopted and implemented by a single group of people for a single project? Yes. A department or division? Certainly. The entire company? Definitely. In fact, as the scope grows, communications improves and the philosophy is more consistently applied.

The scope of project management affects many people:

* The individual worker will prepare estimates and schedules, perform project work, and report on activities.

* The project manager will plan and direct the use of resources on projects, and solve problems.

* Department managers will administer resources and control projects within an area.

* Executive management will establish project priorities and monitor project progress.

Obviously, project management should not be restricted to a handful of people or projects. Dozens of projects may be active at any one time, involving hundreds of workers across departmental boundaries. Synchronization of the work effort is required to maximize effect and minimize confusion. Project management, therefore, should be viewed as a corporate philosophy as opposed to a technique used by a select few. Only when a standard and consistent approach to Project Management is adopted by a company will it become an integral part of the corporate culture. We will then hear less about why Project Management fails, and more of how the company is prospering.

First published: April 18, 2005

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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HOW “EFFECTIVE” WERE YOU TODAY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 30, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– There is an important difference between effectiveness and efficiency.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

“Productivity = Effectiveness X Efficiency” – Bryce’s Law

INTRODUCTION

Okay, you believe you had a great day at work today; that you accomplished a lot. Maybe you did. Then again, maybe you didn’t do as much as you might think. A lot of people believe just because they are a model of efficiency, they are being highly productive. This is simply not true. We have discussed the concept of productivity on more than one occasion in this column, but some trends in the business world have caused me to revisit it again.

Perhaps the biggest problem here is that people fallaciously equate efficiency with productivity. They are most definitely not synonymous. Efficiency is concerned with speed of delivery, reduced errors, and minimal costs or effort. In other words, how fast we can perform a given task, at reduced costs, without committing any substantial errors in the process. But what if we are performing the wrong task at the wrong time? Obviously this would be counterproductive regardless how efficiently we performed the task. I always use the example of industrial robots on an assembly line, whereby they can perform tasks such as welding very efficiently. However, if they are welding the wrong thing at the wrong time, they are counterproductive.

This means there are two variables involved with productivity: efficiency and effectiveness. Whereas efficiency primarily deals with speed and “doing things right,” effectiveness is concerned with “doing the right things.” In other words, working on assignments in the right sequence. Sequence can be defined for a single project by its work breakdown structure (WBS) and precedent relationships, or for working on multiple projects based on priority.

ANALYZE THIS

To better understand the differences between effectiveness versus efficiency, I have developed an MS Excel spreadsheet where you can test your own personal productivity. Click HERE to download.

In the first part, I ask you to assess your sense of efficiency for the day; for example:
– I was a dynamo today; worked fast, no errors.
– I did more than my share, not too many mistakes.
– I did my fair share, average number of mistakes.
– I was below average, some mistakes.
– Had a bad day; too many mistakes, a lot of time lost.

Next, I ask you to consider your current work assignments in priority order. In other words, consider the projects you worked on from the highest to lowest priority. In some cases, people may have only one work assignment, which is fine.

Following this, I want you to account for your time during the day; both the time spent on project assignments, as well as indirect activities (such as attending meetings, breaks, checking e-mail, etc.). In other words, the interferences or activities not directly related to your work assignments. Be honest now, everybody spends time during the day on such indirect activities. By the way, on the average, office workers spend 70% of their time on direct project work and 30% on interferences.

The spreadsheet will then calculate a productivity rating based on the time spent on projects in priority sequence, and taking into account time spent on interferences.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

The spreadsheet provides a convenient way to understand how productivity should be calculated. It is far from scientific (for example, the efficiency rating is crudely estimated without any level of precision). Nonetheless, the productivity number highlights the differences between efficiency and effectiveness.

I have seen companies who like to plot efficiency ratings on a graph, but as far as I am concerned the data is misleading as they only portray a glimpse of a much larger picture. Plotting the effectiveness rating is just as important as the efficiency rating and helps produce a realistic productivity rating.

CONCLUSION

Some workers, particularly craftsmen, understand the differences between efficiency and effectiveness. They appreciate the total process for building something and are acutely aware of the potential risk for cutting corners. Some simply don’t get it (and probably never will). For example, the Information Technology industry commonly misunderstands this concept and is obsessed with efficiency. As evidence, consider the use of “Agile Methodologies” today which are quick and dirty approaches for writing a program. Here, a rudimentary program is developed, then radically refined over time until the client signs-off on it. Proponents consider Agile Methodologies to be a quantum leap forward in terms of productivity. I don’t. True, they can write code fast, but because they are not well structured, a lot of time is spent revising designs and rewriting code, not just once but several times. Instead of getting it right the first time, Agile Methodologies rely on the efficiency of their power programming tools to make them look good.

So what is a good productivity rating? First, let’s dispense with the notion of 100% productivity. This is purely a myth. This would mean that everyone in a company is being both highly effective and efficient around the clock. This is simply not possible. Actually, 25% is considered a good rating and is typical for a lot of companies.

If this paper has done nothing more than raise your consciousness about the differences between effectiveness and efficiency, then it has served its purpose. Hopefully, it will cause you to refocus your efforts on “doing the right things” as opposed to just “doing things right.”

So, how “effective” were you today? Your answer will say a lot.

As a footnote; If you are familiar with my writings on “PRIDE” Project Management, you have heard me talk about “Effectiveness Rate” in differentiating the use of time. What I am describing herein is not the same thing; similar, but not quite. Under the Project Management scenario “effectiveness rate” is an availability rating which is used for estimating and scheduling, but not for calculating productivity.

First published: August 21, 2006

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CREATING A SKILLS INVENTORY

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 28, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– It is wise to take stock of the talents of your people.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Abbot: “Let’s see, we have Who on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third.”

Costello: “That’s what I’m trying to find out.”

INTRODUCTION

As I visit corporate clients, I am always amazed to see how out of touch Information Technology (I.T.) managers are in terms of knowing the talents and abilities of their staff. Such ignorance makes it difficult to properly assign staff to project assignments. Consequently, there is a tendency for companies to hire too many outside consultants or purchase training programs unnecessarily. Why? Because most I.T. organizations refuse to take the time to develop and maintain a simple “Skills Inventory” which catalogs and rates the skills of their human resources. You cannot capitalize on the talents of your staff if you do not know what they are.

WHAT IS A SKILL?

A skill is a developed aptitude or ability for performing a certain task. It represents specific knowledge or talents as developed by education and/or experience. Skills relate to the type of work we do and the tools and techniques we use. We can define skills as vaguely or as precisely as we so desire, but the real value of a Skills Inventory lies in precision. The following are categories of skills we have developed for IT organizations:

Basic Business Skills: e.g., Conducting a meeting, Interviewing, Speaking/presentations, Writing, E-Mail, Word Processing, etc.

Business Functions: knowledge of a specific corporate function, e.g., Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Inventory, etc.

Degrees & Certifications: e.g., Associates Degree, Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral, trade certifications, Notary Public, etc.

Languages: foreign – e.g., French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, etc. Programming – e.g., Basic, C, COBOL, Java, Pascal, etc.

Methodology: Listing the Phases and Activities of in-house methodologies, such as the “PRIDE” Methodologies for IRM.

Standards: corporate policies, writing standards, design and development, etc.

Tools & techniques: programming techniques (e.g., OOP), data base design, DBMS, CASE tools, program generators, workbenches, Office Suites, Graphics Packages, etc.

Some companies also use a Skills Inventory to track the talents of machine resources. Some have found it of value to inventory such things on a computer as languages supported, memory, program utilities, compilers, backup programs, and various other attributes about the operating system. This is useful for tracking hardware resources and determining when it is necessary to upgrade equipment.

Knowing a resource’s skill is one thing, knowing its level of proficiency is another.

WHAT IS A PROFICIENCY?

Skills and proficiencies are not synonymous, although they are complementary. Proficiency refers to the degree of knowledge or experience someone or something (a machine) possesses for performing the task.

Proficiency is normally based on some sort of scale, such as 1 (low) to 9 (high). In many organizations, the establishment of any proficiency rating is a highly sensitive subject as it is believed it is used for job performance review. In this situation, most people will use an “average” proficiency rating (5). Unfortunately, this will not help in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of our human and machine resources.

After the list of skills has been prepared, they should be developed into a survey for each resource. Although the survey could be circulated, it is recommended human resources be interviewed individually to clarify intent and responses. Here, the resource is not asked how well they know a specific skill (good or bad). Instead, they are asked to qualify their response. For example:

FOR EACH SKILL, THE RESOURCE ... (PROFICIENCY RATING)

A. Could qualify as an INSTRUCTOR or EXPERT in this area (9)
B. Could act as an ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR (6)
C. Has had formal training or experience (STUDENT) (3)
D. Is familiar with the CONCEPT or OBJECT (1)

This approach is much less intimidating to employees and tends to produce honest results. From this, a Skills Inventory can be developed to show the skills and proficiencies of each resource. Also, an average resource proficiency rating can be calculated for each skill which may indicate the need for additional training.

Determining the proficiency of machine skills can be far less painstaking. Depending on the equipment, an operator or product manual can usually describe the capabilities of the equipment.

CREATING THE SKILLS INVENTORY

There are many ways to create and maintain a Skills Inventory; e.g., a simple card catalog/index, commercial software, or even a simple data base package as found on most of today’s PC’s can be used. For a basic Skills Inventory, only two reports are needed:

1. Resource Profile – describing the skills of a single resource (see Figure 1)

2. Skill Description – describing all of the resources with a specific skill (see Figure 2). Please note the “Average Proficiency” figure at the bottom of the report; this is important figure for determining overall proficiency.

An optional third report can also be prepared, a “Resource/Skill Matrix” which gives a more global view of resources-to-skills (see Figure 3).



By analyzing these reports, it may become obvious there is a lack of talent for a particular skill or set of skills. Consequently, this may trigger the need for either some training to develop the skill or recruiting new resources with such talent, or both.

If the Skills Inventory has been implemented with computer software, be sure there are some adequate search facilities to quickly reference a particular skill or resource. Also be sure data entry is simple and clean. One last caveat if creating a computerized Skills Inventory, be sure it does not interfere or overlap with anything a Human Resources department might be doing. Ideally, there should be an interface between the two.

REVIEW

Whether human or machine related, skills and proficiencies will change over time; they will not stagnate. Because of this, they should be reviewed on a routine basis to keep them up to date. Maintenance of the Skills Inventory should be delegated to a qualified person who can safeguard such records.

OTHER USES

Up to now, we have described a Skills Inventory in its most fundamental form. However, if done properly, it can be used as a tactical corporate tool, such as providing assistance when performing an “Organizational Analysis.” Under this scenario, skills can be related to business functions (such as Marketing, Administration, Manufacturing, etc.). As such, assigned proficiencies should denote the minimum level required to perform the function. When compared to the average skill proficiency of resources implementing the function, it may be discovered that a function may not be adequately fulfilled. For example, a Sales function may require skills such as “Contract Preparation,” “Product Presentation,” etc. If we examine the personnel ultimately implementing the function, we may find they either have the wrong skill set, or are not as proficient as they need to be.

To implement something like this, we need something a little more sophisticated than the basic Skills Inventory described above. Instead, we need an enterprise-wide mechanism to track such things as business functions, organizational entities (jobs/titles/positions). For this, you will need an “IRM Repository” to catalog and cross-reference such objects as well as other information resources.

BENEFIT$

A simple Skills Inventory is easy to implement, yet offers tremendous assistance in terms of:

* Selecting suitable personnel for project assignments.

* Determining the need for additional training or recruiting new people.

* Evaluating the need to upgrade hardware.

* Career path planning – this is particularly useful when a resource masters one part of a methodology, and is ready to graduate to another.

* Interfaces with Human Resource Management.

* Holds future potential for performing such service as an “Organizational Analysis.”

Try it, you will either be pleasantly surprised to know the talents your staff possesses, or come to the realization your staff needs help. Either way, you will be taking a pro-active approach to managing your department.

First published: Mar 7, 2005

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

HOW PRODUCTIVE ARE YOUR MEETINGS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 14, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Some guidelines for making your meetings meaningful.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

INTRODUCTION

As a businessman, one of my favorite movies is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” featuring Steve Martin as an advertising executive trying to return to Chicago during the Thanksgiving holidays. The movie opens with Martin attending a meeting in New York City where he is pitching an ad campaign to the President of a large corporation, played by William Windom. The meeting is rather long and boring as Windom quietly agonizes over the layout of Martin’s proposed ads. All of the meeting attendees sit quietly and patiently as they wait for Windom to make a decision (which he never makes). As it is the holiday season, they all have other things they want to do (in Martin’s case, it is to return home to Chicago). Ultimately, the meeting is a colossal waste of time for all of the attendees.

We’ve all been involved with such meetings where the person running it is either insensitive to the needs of the attendees or the subject matter is painfully boring. It should come as no surprise that excessive or pointless meetings are probably the number one cause for decreased productivity in organizations, be it corporate or nonprofit (as Dilbert has pointed out to us time and again). Understand this, unless someone is looking for an excuse to duck a work assignment, nobody wants to attend an inconsequential meeting.

Remarkably, there are a lot of people who don’t understand the basics of running a productive meeting, hence the problem as exemplified by Martin’s movie. There is nothing magical about conducting a good meeting. It just requires a little preparation, along with some leadership and structure during its execution. Here are some simple guidelines to follow:

PREPARATION

First, determine the necessity of the meeting itself. Do you really have something important to discuss or do you just want to simply “chew the fat.” Meetings are nice but we should never forget they distract people from their work assignments. Therefore, we should only hold a meeting if it is going to benefit the attendees and assist them in their work effort. Let us not forget there are many other communication vehicles at our disposal: memos, e-mails, web pages (including blogs and discussion groups), posted notices, general broadcasts over a PA system, etc.

If you are convinced of the necessity of the meeting, you will need to know three things:

  • Your objective – Is the purpose of the meeting to communicate a particular message, develop a dialogue and reach consensus, educate/train people, or to offer a simple diversion for the attendees? People do not want to hear the boss pontificate on some trivial manner (a la Dilbert). Make sure you have a firm grasp of the purpose of the meeting and what you hope to accomplish. Ask yourself how the attendees will benefit from the meeting.
  • Your audience – Be sure to understand the targeted audience, their interests, their work assignments, and their attention span.
  • How the meeting should be conducted (this is critical). Should it be held on-site or off-site to minimize distractions? Who should lead the meeting? How should the meeting room be setup, such as required audio-video equipment, flipcharts/blackboards, computer equipment, podiums, and the setup of tables and chairs. A classroom setup is fine for lectures and presentations but not necessarily conducive if the participants are going to work in teams. For dialogs and strategy sessions, a roundtable or u-shaped layout is better. Even the chairs are important; everyone likes comfort but if you want to keep people’s attention, there is nothing wrong with hard chairs that force the participants to sit-up and take notice during the meeting.

Print up agendas in advance so everyone knows the meeting’s purpose, the items to be discussed, the timetable, and what is needed for preparation. It is not uncommon to also advise the dress code for the meeting. If possible, send agendas and any other items in advance for the attendees to adequately prepare themselves for the meeting. This will save considerable time during the meeting.

Post scheduled meetings to calendars and, whenever possible, send out reminders at least one day in advance.

EXECUTION

Having a strong and fair leader for the meeting is essential for its success. This may or may not be the main speaker. Nevertheless, the leader has to play the role of traffic cop so the meeting doesn’t get sidetracked and stays on schedule. Knowing when to defer peripheral discussions to a later time or place (such as after the meeting) is important to keep everyone focused on the main mission of the meeting. Being the traffic cop often requires skills in tact and diplomacy so the meeting doesn’t spin out of control.

Here are some other items to consider:

  • Stick to the agenda. Start and end on time and maintain order. Got a gavel? Do not hesitate to use it judiciously. Maintain civility and decorum. Allow people to have their say but know when issues are getting out of hand or sidetracked.
  • Follow the old military principle of: “Tell them what you are going to tell them; Tell them, and then; Tell them what you’ve told them.” Developing a punchlist of action items at the conclusion of the meeting can be very useful for certain situations.
  • Introductions are important so participants know the cast of characters involved and their interests, but do not waste an inordinate amount of time here. Also, name tags or name cards are useful to avoid the embarrassment of forgetting names and titles.
  • Make the meeting worthwhile. Keep it interesting and informative; Heck, make it fun if you can. Make it so the attendees feel they are not wasting their time.
  • Again, know your audience – speak in terms your audience will understand. An eloquent vocabulary might be impressive, but it may also intimidate and confuse the attendees (beware of the “verbosity of bullshit” phenomenon). Also, read the body language of the attendees to see if they are paying attention.
  • I am not a big fan of histrionics. Many lecturers like people to get up, stretch, shake hands with everyone or hold a group hug. This can be downright embarrassing to people. Get to the point and move on.

REVIEW

All meetings should be reviewed, either formally or informally, to determine the success of the meeting. Informal reviews are used for short meetings to determine action items to be followed up on. Formal reviews should be considered for all lengthy meetings. Standard critique sheets should be used for attendees and the leader to evaluate the meeting. Prepare a summary and evaluate the meeting’s success. More importantly, learn from the comments received. There is little point of going through the motions of a review if you have no intention of acting on it.

CONCLUSION

Mastering the execution of an effective meeting requires a little planning, a little organization, and a lot of management. Bottom-line, how do you know if your meeting was a success? People do not groan when you call the next one.

First published: January 23, 2006

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE IMPACT OF APPEARANCES

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 2, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– On our impressions and productivity.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Personal Appearance

Your appearance says a lot about how you regard others. Someone who is well dressed and groomed will command more respect than someone who is not. Today, tattoos, body piercings and facial hair are very popular among younger people. Regardless of your attitude towards them, there are still many prejudices against them in the corporate world. Understand this, the higher you go up in the corporate ladder, the more you become a visible symbol of the company you represent. If your physical appearance doesn’t convey the right image, you won’t be going anywhere. So, if you happen to like that new nose ring you put in, don’t expect that big job promotion anytime soon. Like it or not, if you’ve got body art, do yourself a favor and keep it under cover. The same is true in regards to unkempt hair, facial or otherwise. If you’re going to wear it, at least keep it neat and trimmed.

If you have to wear a tie to work, make sure it is contemporary as well as conservative. Learn to tie a decent knot (people tend to giggle at clip-ons) and the length is somewhat important. For example, a tie resting well above your belt buckle implies inadequacies in the individual, and a tie resting below the belt buckle implies someone prone to excess. The tip of the end of the tie should rest on the top of the belt buckle.

One last thing in terms of dress, “business casual” certainly does not include wearing T-shirts, jeans, shorts, gym shoes or sandals. If you clean up your appearance you will be surprised how people treat you.

Office Appearance

Your desk and office space says a lot about your character. Because of this, you should make an effort to keep your physical surroundings as clean and up-to-date as possible. As an example, the military typically operates under a philosophy whereby you either work on something, store it away, or dispose of it. This forces people to be organized. There are those who would argue “A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A cluttered desk represents laziness and disorganization. People, particularly customers, prefer an orderly workplace. Think about it next time you go to a grocery store.

The point is, our physical surroundings affect our attitudes towards work. For example, I know of a small print shop with a manager who insists on keeping it spotless. Their paper products are packaged and shipped promptly, inventory is well stocked and maintained, waste is disposed of immediately, and the machines are routinely cleaned and kept in pristine form. Further, the printers are dressed in uniform jumpsuits to keep ink and chemicals from soiling their clothes underneath. Contrast this with the typical print shop that is often cluttered with debris and the machines are infrequently cleaned. The printers of the “clean” shop have a much more positive and professional attitude regarding their work than other printers working in “dirty” shops. Further, absenteeism is not a problem in the “clean” shop and the printers are proud of the products they produce. Basically, they see their workplace as an extension of their home and treat it as such.

As a footnote, I asked the manager of the print shop why his printers kept the facility so clean when others were so dirty. He jokingly confided in me, “They don’t know any better.” In reality, the manager had set operating standards and routinely inspected the premises to assure they were adhered to. Over time, it became a natural part of the print shop’s culture and now he rarely has to inspect them.

Just remember, the appearance you elect to project sends subliminal messages to those around you who will treat you accordingly.

First published: September 24, 2007

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE FIVE MINUTE MANAGEMENT LESSON

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 26, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– The basics for anyone starting out in management.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have written and taught management and systems related topics for many years, always trying to offer pragmatic approaches. Recently though, I ran into a young man who was about to become a project manager for the first time and wanted some advice on tackling the assignment. He was being put in charge of a small team of workers, consisting of seven people, and wanted to know how to best manage the project.

As this was his first management assignment, I told him the three keys to success were organization, communications, and interpersonal relations. I cautioned him against trying to over-supervise his team, in other words, not to micromanage them.

Actually, it is all rather simple:

First define the methodology for the project to follow, including the work breakdown structure, benchmarks and deliverables, and review points. Be sure to include an initial phase for planning, and an ending phase for review. Although some projects are executed serially, others may split into parallel paths.

Second, understand the skills and knowledge required to implement the project, then examine those of your workers, including their proficiencies. Provide training where required.

Third, articulate the project assignment to the team. Define the allocation of human resources within the methodology, thereby defining Who, is to perform What, When, Where, Why, and How (the 5-W’s and H). When this is done, empower the team and let them get on with their business.

The team should report progress on a regular basis, such as weekly, but otherwise stay out of their way and only get involved if a problem arises. In other words, let the workers supervise themselves, freeing you to manage the overall project. The responsibilities of the manager, as I explained it, was to:

* Plan the project carefully.
* Train the workers appropriately.
* Communicate the project assignments effectively.
* Empower the staff.
* Monitor progress routinely.
* Look for trouble spots, and take corrective action. In other words, run interference for the team.
* Regularly communicate progress to your superiors.

The real key here is to treat the workers like professionals, thereby empowering them with a sense of responsibility and ownership. To do so, avoid the temptation to micromanage everything which will only cause problems with morale and slow the projects. Employees are much more inclined to attack projects zealously if they believe management trusts their judgement and is not breathing down their throat.

Finally, be sure to review the project at its conclusion, which many people tend to overlook as they do not see the wisdom for doing so. The review should include an analysis of estimate versus actual time and money spent, what went right during the project, what went wrong, and recommendations for future projects. Sometimes this is written by the Project Manager, but it is preferable to have a third person write it who is more objective. The final report should be reviewed by all members of the project team.

If you have performed your job properly as manager, your people will become more disciplined, more enthused about their work, and will develop a professional attitude, all of which benefits the company.

Thus ended my five minute lesson.

For some of my other tutorials on management, click HERE.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 2, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How to keep on top of your game at work.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let me say from the outset that the burden of responsibility for improving your skills in your chosen profession rests with YOU, not your employer. Your company may offer supplemental training but more than anything YOU are responsible for your development, not anyone else. YOU must take the initiative. In most cases, your company will assist you in your development, but YOU must demonstrate your willingness to learn and improve.

Regardless of the type of job you have, you will observe changes over time in terms of how it is performed. This is because new methods, techniques and tools are introduced to expedite how your job is performed. Staying abreast of new technology, therefore, is an important part of your development. Continuous improvement is an inherent part of craftsmanship. You must either evolve and adapt, or be left behind.

There are numerous sources available to you for ongoing professional development:

1. Personal Observations – there is probably no better instructor than your own power of observation as you will be able to watch others succeed and fail in their assignments, their work habits and ethics, as well as their office politics. This requires an attention to detail, the ability to detect changes, and an inquisitive mind that constantly asks “Why?” As a new employee, pay particular attention to interoffice memos, not just for what they say, but why they were written.

When studying people, consider their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, their character, and their formulas for success or failure, e.g., what worked and what didn’t? Never hesitate to ask questions, particularly as a new employee.

2. News and Trade Journals – just about every industry has some form of publication, either printed or in some electronic format, to report news and discuss trends. Such periodicals are invaluable in order to stay abreast of developments in your field. Many such publications offer free subscriptions, others require a modest charge. It is not uncommon for companies to pay for such subscriptions as they want to help their employees stay sharp in their field. But if such is not the case and you have to pay for a subscription out of your own pocket, the IRS will typically allow you to report it as a deduction on your income taxes.

There will also be considerable information made freely available to you over the Internet, such as the trade publication web sites, along with pertinent blogs, discussion groups, news services, and podcasts.

The important point here is you should develop a habit of staying current in your chosen profession, and you should perform such research either at home or during off hours at work. Managers generally frown on employees reading periodicals during normal working hours.

3. Participation in Industry Groups & Trade Shows – like the trade press, just about every industry has one or more nonprofit organizations to provide a forum to discuss your specialty. Such groups typically offer its members monthly meetings to listen to guest speakers, workshops and seminars, and access to a library of research papers. More importantly, it provides a venue for its members to network and compare notes pertaining to their profession. Participation in such groups are normally encouraged by businesses to promote the employee’s continued education. However, some companies are leery about participation in trade groups as it is sometimes viewed as a vehicle for exchanging resumes and changing jobs. If you still want to participate in a trade group without the support of your company, again, the IRS will typically allow you to report your dues as a deduction on your income taxes.

Major conventions and trade shows are also useful for learning about the latest technology in your field. Here you will meet vendors, obtain literature, view presentations, and touch and feel the latest gizmo. Companies encourage attendance at such shows, but typically not during business hours. And if the trade show is being held out of town, it is unlikely your company will sponsor your trip as it may be perceived as a boondoggle. The only exceptions to this is when such a trip is being used as either a form of reward to the employee or for a special fact-finding mission.

Check with your employer about their policy on participating in such organizations.

4. Professional Training – there are numerous commercial training programs offered by experts in their field. Most are instructor-led seminars or workshops held either on the company’s premises or off-site, and vary in length anywhere from a couple of hours to a week. There are also many independent study programs available that are implemented by books, DVD, or over the Internet. Regardless, your concern is the quality of education provided, and does the venue suit your needs?

5. Certification Programs – many professions offer certification programs which authenticate your level of knowledge in a subject area. Such programs typically require the person to take a test or examination, which can be rather extensive. To prepare people for the exam, the sponsor of the certification program (which is normally a nonprofit trade group) will offer a study curriculum to prepare the applicant for the test.

As a new employee, you should pursue certification programs, especially if your company supports it and pays for it. Not only will you personally benefit from it, but it could mean an increase in pay to you as well.

It is one thing to earn a certification, quite another to maintain it. Most certification programs require people to renew it periodically, such as every three years. A lot can happen in three years, which is why you should constantly stay abreast of developments in your profession.

6. Supplemental Education – many companies encourage their employees to either complete their formal education or pursue a higher degree. To this end, companies may offer financial incentives for you to complete High School or College. And if you want to obtain a Masters or Doctoral degree, they may offer programs to help you pay for such degrees. Be sure to review the benefits policies of your employer.

7. Mentors – years ago there was a period where mentors were assigned to new employees to chaperone them on their journey through the corporate world. Mentors were basically a “Big Brother/Sister” program where senior employees would offer sage advice to neophytes on adapting to the corporate world. But this is a program that has slowly been phased out over the last few years. Nonetheless, if you find someone you respect in the company who is willing to act as your mentor, by all means listen to them carefully. A mentor has three primary duties to perform:

* Role Model – a mentor has attributes the subordinate wants to aspire to attain.

* Teacher – a mentor has to be able to teach, not just academic or technical lessons but also those pertaining to corporate life; e.g., policies and procedures, ethics, socialization, politics, etc.

* Guidance Counselor – to guide the subordinate on their path through life, explaining options and making recommendations.

Very important, both the mentor and the subordinate must realize the mentor will not have all of the answers, but should be able to point the subordinate in the right direction to get the answers they need. The mentor also has to know when their work is complete and allow the subordinate to move on to the next stage of their corporate life.

8. Other Vehicles – there is a variety of other ways for perpetuating professional development in your company:

* Employee-led training or roundtable discussions – held on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss pertinent subjects. In other words, your own in-house trade group. The only problems here are: having access to suitable company facilities to hold such meetings at off-hours (most companies do not have a problem with this), and getting people to participate (many of whom will not stay beyond quitting time). But if you can develop such a forum, it can become invaluable as a learning aid.

* Private Blog or Discussion Group – to use as a clearinghouse to discuss problems and solutions pertaining to your trade. Some companies frown on such electronic forums as they suspect it is used to plot against the company or management. But if such forums are properly administered, they can be beneficial in the exchange of professional job-related information.

* Corporate Boot Camps – representing off-site retreats for in-depth discussions or training.

If such vehicles do not presently exist in your company, you might be able to earn accolades from management and your coworkers for setting up such forums.

Again I remind you, your professional development is up to YOU, not your employer. In most cases, your employer will encourage and support you in your professional development, but they cannot spoon-feed you. YOU must show the initiative.

First published: August 27, 2007

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST – It was great while it lasted.

LAST TIME:  THIS IS WAR!  – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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DEBRIEFING: A LESSON FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 29, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– What we must all go through when joining a new company, particularly newbies.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

What you learned in school, of course, will be useful to you in your adult life, but more importantly, it means you possess the faculties to learn, that you can be taught; two important attributes employers are looking for. They are not so much interested in what you have learned in school as much as your ability to learn and adapt, which is what the diploma represents. Regardless of your degree, most employers are going to spend a period of time debriefing you and then teach you how to do things in the manner in which they want things done. This is an important first step in acclimating into the corporate culture. And just because you have graduated, don’t think this is the end of your education. You will be learning lessons for the rest of your life. Our schools and universities do nothing more than train your mind to learn. That is their mission.

I had a friend who graduated from a trade school in Cincinnati as a machinist. He was very bright and graduated at the top of his class, making him an ideal candidate for a local tool and die company who hired him. Although my friend knew a lot about being a machinist, the company first put him through their in-house school which taught him their approach to building machines. He later confided that although he was at first skeptical of what he was going to learn, that he thought he was already suitably trained, he said what he learned from the company was light years ahead of what he learned in school. The lesson here was twofold: never be too cocky to think you know everything, and; there is always room for improvement.

Regardless of the type of company you are joining, getting debriefed is a natural part of entering the work force. Do not be insulted and resist it, learn from it. Keep one thing in mind, you are still an unknown quantity to the company and, as such, they want to point you in the right direction in starting your job. Further, you can expect quite a lot of supervision in the early stages of your employment as the company wants to be sure you are doing your job properly.

Debriefing can take many forms, a formal school like my friend experienced, classroom “hands-on” training, or simply on-the-job training. Regardless, now is the time to pay attention to detail and take lots of notes.

Being the new kid on the block (aka “Newbie”) has its advantages and disadvantages. In terms of advantages, it’s hard to blame the Newbie for things they are not expected to know yet. This means you are allowed to make certain innocent mistakes for awhile, but don’t make a habit of it. You are also allowed to ask the naive “dumb question” which nobody else will ask. In fact, the veterans are expecting you to make certain slip-ups for which you will naturally be kidded about. Take this in stride and learn from it. The disadvantages are that you will be given mundane tasks to perform initially, many of which can be called “Gofor” work, e.g., “Go for this, go for that.” The point is, as a Newbie, you are being tested to see not only how well you can perform, but how you react to certain situations. You are going to be gauged in terms of your performance, patience, persistence, diplomacy, risk, teamwork, etc. Most, if not all, of the veterans have gone through these same assignments and in order to gain their approval and trust, you must demonstrate your willingness to accept and execute such assignments. You may rightfully believe some of your tasks are below your dignity. Regardless, the best way to rise above this is to simply tackle any job they give you, do it well, do it fast, and do not gripe about it. Ultimately, how you perform in the Newbie stage establishes you on the totem pole (your seniority). It is also wise to remember this experience as it will have a bearing on how you relate to the next Newbie who comes along.

First published: August 13, 2007

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THIS IS WAR! – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

LAST TIME:  PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGEMENT  – “Beware of your ‘firefighters,’ they are probably your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 26, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– “Beware of your ‘firefighters,’ they are probably your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have been thinking a lot about micromanagement lately. It seems the corporate world is consumed with mini-dictators who are bent on directing the activities of others. I also see this in nonprofit organizations consisting of volunteers and managed by leaders who can be rather ruthless. Nonetheless, I have also noticed there appears to be an inclination for such managers to be reactive as opposed to proactive in their style of management, and I cannot help but think that micromanagement and reactive management are somehow related.

I have met a lot of reactive managers in my time. All exhibit the following characteristics:

* Seldom has time for interoffice planning/organization meetings.

* Has trouble effectively communicating with the staff, particularly articulating objectives and plans.

* Not interested in or doesn’t heed input from subordinates.

* Spends more time supervising than managing.

* Changes priorities on the fly.

* Rarely, if ever, produces priority lists (keeps it in his/her head).

* Bipolar – knows great enthusiasms and is easily depressed.

* Thrives on chaos – sees themselves as saviors. Likes to swoop in and solve problems.

As to this last point, we have encountered situations like this on more than one occasion, but in particular we were contracted by a large insurance company in the Midwest to audit the performance of two systems development groups in the company. One group appeared to be well organized and managed; they quietly went about their business and delivered their work products on time and within budget. Another group was just the antithesis of the other; systems were installed prematurely and never to the customer’s satisfaction, and assignments were routinely late and over budget. Nonetheless, the manager of this latter group was well respected for being able to put out fires at a moment’s notice.

When we finally presented our results to the board of directors, we made the observation that their head firefighter was also the cause of all of the problems he was correcting. Yet, whereas the manager of the group who quietly produced superior work products was unrecognized, the head firefighter was being amply rewarded for his efforts. Basically, he was taking advantage of the “squeaky wheel getting the oil” phenomenon. Frankly, the executives were surprised by our comments and that such a situation had arisen in their company.

There are two reasons for reactive management; either for political gain (as in the insurance example above), or because people simply do not know how to be proactive. One excuse commonly heard from reactive managers is, “We never have enough time to do things right.” Translation: “We have plenty of time to do things wrong.” True management is hard work, requiring skills in planning, analysis, organization, leadership, and communications. To some, it is easier to let problems come to them as opposed to trying to anticipate problems and take action before they occur. In other words, they resign themselves to a life of reactive management.

The proactive manager invests his time and money in planning and, consequently, spends less in implementation. In contrast, the reactive manager regards planning as a waste of time and is content spending an inordinate amount of time in implementation, thereby incurring more costs and, because of the ensuing chaos, needs to micromanage people.

Young people coming into the workforce tend to learn from their managers and emulate their style for years to come. If they see proactive management, they will believe this is the proper way of conducting business and perpetuate this style, but if they only see reactive management…

This leads me to believe we will be plagued by reactive management for quite some time to come.

First published: January 7, 2008

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DEBRIEFING: A LESSON FOR YOUNG PEOPLE – What we must all go through when joining a new company, particularly newbies.

LAST TIME:  WHO HAS REALLY GOT THE MENTAL DISORDER, TRUMP OR THE DEMS?  – Let me give you a hint, it’s not the president.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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