Management makes decisions. Management sets direction. Management imposes authority. Sure, all true. But none of these are the real function of management.
Management’s true job is to facilitate the jobs of everyone else.
If you are in management, your most important function is to look for ways to smooth and expedite every process of the business. Supposedly, management’s broader scope of view should encourage means to get things done better, faster, and easier.
I seldom see management with that focus. Imagine the boss that is constantly looking for ways to make your job easier. Is that the case where you work? Probably not.
Imagine if you will, a business where the function of management is to make everyone’s job easier. Consider the impact that would have on service and productivity. If I am in the sales department and the steps necessary to conclude a deal are simplified, I’ll make more sales. If I’m in assembly and management listens to my ideas about ways to improve the assembly process, I will produce more product.
We’ve got it all wrong. Even the term “manager” implies ‘boss’ and not facilitator.
Stop. I’m not going squishy. I’m not referring to feelings or trying to make everyone happy. I’m talking about accelerating processes by making those processes easier.
I asked someone recently if I could assist by developing a few simple tools in Excel that would make tracking and follow-through easier. Her answer startled me, “I’m not going to do anything that isn’t part of our approved procedures.” I explained that I was not trying to circumvent procedures. I was offering to make the following of procedures easier. “I don’t want to add any more for me to do. I’ve got my hands full as it is,” was her reply. She was blind to the possibility that her job could be easier and afraid to consider doing anything that wasn’t ‘ordered’. That’s bad.
Certainly I do not have all the answers. But when employees express that depth of rigidity, it’s reflective of a problem. No new thinking. No new ideas. No betterments will come from the attitude she expressed to me.
That’s management’s doing. Management’s damage really.
If you are in a management position, are you constantly looking for ways to make things easier and better for those you manage?
Or, are you the boss, the manager?
Do you give orders or are you spending your time watching the flow of productivity and constantly improving that flow?
Most people will read this on Monday. Most will think that Monday isn’t the day to start changing things.
I can’t think of a better day.