What do you mean when you say 'manager'?
I use the term 'manager' here to refer to those people who have the responsibility for improving performance at the middle and front line levels in an organization. For these people, leadership is one of these key responsibilities. Operational excellence however is their primary focus. My use of this definition is intended to also include those who are called 'supervisors.' In today's changing workplace, I consider the roles of supervisor and manager to be the same.
What do managers need to know about high performance?
Managers of course can never stop learning. This workbook however focuses on what I believe are the five key work practices for people who fill managerial-type roles. It provides basic, to the point, and highly focused tools and ideas that will help any manager reach higher levels of performance through leadership, job redesign, systems improvement, team effectiveness, and effective measurement (scorecards). The following diagram and text illustrates what I feel are the key focus areas for any manager who is looking to improve their own performance and the performance of those teams and systems they are responsible for.
It all begins with effective leadership. In order to become a better leader, you need feedback that helps you see where further improvement is needed. In particular, most people need to learn and practice effective leadership behaviors more than tasks.
In most cases, managers need to use their time differently as they make a shift towards high performance tasks and behavior. Time has to be made available for learning, coaching, project work, systems analysis, and of course, lots of practice!
Systems drive performance improvement. Learning how to combine an effective measurement system with a focused approach to process improvement will help you save money, provide higher quality products and services, and increase morale.
I believe that teams are key to high performance. Project teams, work teams, and focus teams are all needed, but they must be properly supported in order to reach their maximum level of effectiveness.
The use of balanced scorecards helps ensure that people know what is important and that all key performance areas are consistently addressed. They can also serve as a key tool for supporting your team recognition and compensation systems.
Would You Like to Learn More?
Click on one of the following links to learn even more about Great Systems! and the types of systems improvements I can help you make:
“The only thing I know is that I do not know it all.” -- Socrates