Sunday, December 6, 2009

Management pearls

Good management lessons do not limit to business - they belong everywhere, including in health care and everyday life. The sooner we realize this fact, the better off our world will be.

Below I list management pearls that I have the fortune of coming across. If they sound primitive, remember that most brilliant ideas are simple - it is the implementation that makes all the difference.

- Leaders are not satisfied with what they are given - they always envision better possibilities. Followers inherit the best freighter in the world and treasure it - Leaders inherit the best freighter in the world, tear it up and make a speedboat.
- Shun the incremental and go for the leap. Meet the basic targets then stretch to the point where the organization almost comes unglued, without punishment for failure.
- Eliminate boundaries and bureaucracy. All good ideas should be valued and encouraged, regardless of their sources, be they from your janitors or your competitors. All employees have equal opportunities of constantly improving their performance and contributing to their workplace. Read more about "work-out" and "best practices" at GE.
- The contract between the company and its employee is not the perceived lifetime employment that leads to complacence, but the promise of personal and professional growth that pushes people to be their best. Each department rents the employees, but it is the company that truly owns them.
- 360 degree evaluation with equal consequences across the board is very important. Smiling up and kicking down should not be tolerated.
- People must be rewarded with both the pocketbook AND the soul. Take care of your A players, and do not waste time getting Cs to be Bs - lose them early and you will do everyone a big favor.
- There are 4 types of employees, based on the combinations of whether they meet the targets (T) and whether they share your values (V). [+T+V] is an easy call, so is [-T-V]. [-T+V] gets a second chance, preferably in a different environment. [+T-V] is the hardest to deal with - they should be removed, because they will fail to deliver in the long term.
- Managers promote stability while leaders press for change, and every good organization needs both.

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