7 Management Principles that have worked for me
July 23, 2014
When thinking about what to write for my first post on LinkedIn, I quickly figured that I'm unlikely to conceive deep analytical essays or ground-breaking theories. Instead, I will share 7 simple principles that I've acquired over a number of years; from other managers, peers, people I admire and those that taught me what not to do.1. Here to make new mistakes and learn from the old ones
This is the quintessence of allowing for (fast) failure in an organization and establishing a spirit of continuous improvement. Leaders that encourage methods like Lean Six Sigma and trust their teams to learn from previous mistakes will see more innovative ideas and sustained gains over time.2. Family & health first, always
Trust is important in any relationship, be it at work or elsewhere. I believe that everyone wants to do a good job and allowing people to spend time with their kids at soccer practice or to help a family member with a medical appointment is essential in balancing the 'always on, always mobile' expectation we have on our people. And looking after one's health should always be a priority. 3. Bring the data
I've learnt this from two business leaders that I value deeply for their approach to data when making decisions. Firstly, if you have no data at all, you can't quantify the problem or opportunity. How will you know if it's worth spending your time on this topic? Secondly, don't just compare yourself to prior periods; always compare yourself to the goal/budget as well as industry leaders. This works in a competitive business environment best; in operational areas it is more complex to develop the right external benchmark.
4. C-H-D (Concept – Headline – Details)
This is something I first heard from Peak Teams and now guides my communication, especially in emails. Too often we use one liners or long stories when communicating. One liners are better suited for instant messages and stories belong to meetings or hallway conversations. In emails, C-H-D guides me to provide context of what I'm trying to communicate (the concept), to give simple headlines (every word counts) and only then to go into the details.5. Take the initiative
I often tell my teams, "don't wait (for the HQ, for me, for our boss)". This goes along with empowerment to take measured risks. Large, matrixed organizations lose their ability to move forward with speed when 10 people can say no and nobody says yes. I believe that viewing the decisions at hand through a customer-centric lens will reveal the right answer.
6. Hard on the process, soft on the people
This principle comes from a prior manager and mentor - it resonates with my belief that people generally try to do the best job they can, but often are hindered by inefficient processes and tools. Focusing on continuous improvement instead of blaming individuals or organizations will create a better workplace, higher employee engagement and a better business outcome.7. Let’s Win
Last but not least - if you don't aim to win, why play in the first place? Winning begets more winning and everyone wants to be on a team with a winning streak. It's important to celebrate milestones and achievements to create momentum.
Now it's time to turn it over to you - what #8 would you add or what has worked for you? I'm looking forward to the dialogue. Thanks!