Monday, 2 June 2008

Bloody Obvious Management #1

My first business challenge as a young manager was an under performing business unit that was given to me to evaluate and manage. The Verdict? Why are we using so many hired-in freelancers on jobs when staff are sitting around doing nothing?


And it often is. But my predecessor had done nothing about it. Here’s another. A sales manager in a culture that was so obsessed with systems and structures and reporting initiatives that she never actually did any selling herself. Four people in her team and she sat there like a spare part, doing nothing apart from printing off sales reports and acting as their report line.

Think of the result if she’d liberated herself from the paperwork and just got on and SOLD! Diagnosis: dump the over-bureaucratic systems and structures (this was a small business, not IBM). The results will speak for themselves, without the paperwork and reporting systems.

Coming up with solutions to your and your client’s business are often so very easy. And it's not always a matter of some amazing theory, some business-school mastery. Sometimes - not always - it can be a very simple solution, doing something very obvious. But you can get so lost in a project, a task or a challenge, you don't 'do' obvious (look at every episode of The Apprentice). So here's some advice:


Don’t over complicate things when you’re diagnosing what’s wrong. Business is rarely black or white, but sometimes it’s as simple as something being right or wrong.

You’ll be surprised at how often the obvious stuff gets overlooked by everyone else. Just make sure you don’t make the same mistake .....

No comments: