The real job of every manager is to sustainably improve their business. But how many managers’ think like this?
Far too many managers spend their working time fire fighting, getting sucked into day to day tactical activities or doing the jobs of their people. Yet rather than resist these diversions a lot of managers gravitate towards this situation because they feel more comfortable there.
There are two reasons why this is not surprising. Firstly, a focus on real business improvement will inevitably require managers to question the established ‘modus operandi’ within their business. This is rarely easy to do and will require more than a short term focus on what constitutes success. Secondly, most managers are predominately targeted on their functional performance and this naturally leads to a parochial approach to the prioritisation of their working time.
Imagine if every manager in a business was predominately focused on identifying/addressing broader organisational problems and opportunities rather than just those that impact their functions. How much more effective, successful and profitable would UK business be?
At 100% Effective we believe that managers have the primary responsibility for initiating and driving forward the business improvement agenda within their organisations. In particular, they are responsible for championing the standardisation (in a best practice manner) of any repeatable task. Once standardisation of best practice has been implemented then their people can be properly focused on delivering added value for customers and creating a competitive advantage for the organisation.
Unfortunately in our experience, far too many managers don’t understand the importance of standardisation, how to identify issues and how to solve problems. They don’t know what ‘good looks like’ and often fear that a ‘proper’ focus on business improvement might expose or threaten their position in the organisation.
Wouldn’t the opposite be true? If managers honed their skills in maximising organisational efficiency and performance then surely their expertise would be in high demand. Instead of feeling vulnerable, they would be confident that even if the result was the elimination of their role they would have a set of transferable business skills that would make them very attractive elsewhere in their current organisation or a new one.
For too long people have been promoted based on their functional ability. We have not sufficiently targeted managers to improve their wider organisation and as a result, many of the businesses in the UK have become stagnant and wasteful. Managers have so much fear that they don’t want to rock the boat or challenge anything. They don’t want to have to do things differently and this only guarantees mediocre or poor performance.
So how many genuinely 100% Effective managers do you know or have you worked for? Yep, scary isn’t it!!