Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The ONLY Change That's Real Goes into Parking Meters.

Here's a radical new way to manage: stop wishing, believing, hoping or expecting that people will change. I try to never say never, but you should permanently take this waste of time and energy off your manager dance card. Here's how:

1. Start with a blank piece of paper and write the names of your direct reports.

2. Under each one, list all the tasks and activities that the person does very well, most of the time. These are their observable and measurable talents. Take your time. Be thorough and thoughtful. Write only behaviors, not concepts. Behaviors are defined by what is actually happening andn not the management concepts that you "believe in". For example,

Don't write this: Angelina has a lot of empathy for her staff. That's a concept.
Write this: Angelina manages her staff as individuals, according to each one's needs and talents. She has an executable plan in place for each employee and she holds them accountable. That's behavior.3. Select one talent off your list for each person and circle it. There's one criterion for selection: if this talent is put into action MORE OFTEN the business will benefit.
4. Create a plan WITH each employee to utilize this talent more often...measurably more
often – in the first quarter of 2011. That's thirteen weeks of more talent, more often. Wow. Cool.

5. Finally, you must measure the results of this new behavior and one method is to measure the amount of time spent. (You can measure by any means you want, but you must measure).

Eventually, you'll measure results, but first you should measure the increased activity for the new behavior. Each week, the employee should record the amount of time that is devoted to putting this talent into action. The results should be discussed and celebrated weekly, in your one-to-one meetings.

6. Once the behavior is consistently in place you stop measuring time and you start measuring results. At the end of first quarter decide whether the employee should continue to focus on developing this talent or whether the two of you should select a different talent to develop.
This is the powerful and effective management concept of DEVELOPING strengths and managing weaknesses. Next blog topic: the earth shattering difference between developing strengths and managing weaknesses.

Consider this: not once did I ask you to do anything about improving a weakness. Instead, your plan for improvement is to utilize individual strengths more often.

So, which approach will get a better response from your team? Which way would you like to be managed? Which way will deliver the results you need in 2011?

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