Hundreds of books are published every year providing the latest know-how on how to be a better manager, a better leader, or whatever the latest fad says you need to be…
Yet while technology changes rapidly, and products and services change over time, the principles that sit at the heart of good management rarely change. In short, these include:
- Focus – all functions, people, policies and processes are aligned and together achieve the organisation’s vision and goals.
- A willingness to face the facts – all management and staff attend to what is real; people actively identify the facts relating to a situation before making a decision or taking action.
- Trust – the organisation actively listens to its people and to what is most needed, so that what needs to be done is done, and a positive future is created. In line with this, a belief in people’s good intention underlies the design of all systems and practices.
- Openness and flexibility – people are encouraged to be open, receptive, and responsive to the need for improvements and innovation; and the organisation has the capacity to respond quickly and effectively to the opportunities and threats in its internal and external environments.
- Design drives performance – strategies, systems, and structures are designed in ways that drive positive behaviours and the best long-term outcomes.
- Poor performance is not tolerated – people are alert for, uncover, and eliminate ideas, behaviours, and systems that undermine the good of the whole, or which hide poor performance.
- What is done well, is appreciated – all people in the organisation actively value, appreciate, and celebrate effort that contributes to improved performance.
- Generosity – the organisation actively enhances the well-being of its people, its key stakeholders, and the community of which it is a part; its products and services also contribute to (rather than take away from) the plan.
In many ways these principles sound simple, even obvious. But sometimes we don’t do what is simple. Things get a little contorted. And people get disillusioned. When this happens, implementing a few of the above will help get you back on track. Implementing all eight will help you re-create your company – and a culture where people are vital and energised – and your performance will start to go through the roof.
Karen Van Eden – Auckland West
The Alternative Board provides peer to peer business advice and planning as well as business mentoring and coaching to support NZ Businesses.