Trouble with managing by result

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Trouble with managing by result
Francis E Hilotina, Project Manager, Philippines

Leading people to participate in managing processes.

So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work. (Peter Drucker)

Managers in armchairs can not afford to slouch longer lest they intend to end up in the hot seat. While their people grind on the work floor in all directions to deliver results, the workplace heats up and in no time becomes very stressful. Results can swing down. In no time everything goes under with managers ending up wondering what went wrong and going into firefighting mode. So managers become reactive only when trouble bumps them off the comfort of their offices. So what's wrong in this picture?

Results are as good only as the value people hold as process owners no matter how the goals are set and defined. And no matter how people perform, follow procedures, and eye on the results, the outcome will always be hindsight to most managers. This is characteristic of a reactive form of management, which in general leaves everyone busy patching holes before the ship sinks.

Obviously, managers need to change and start by looking inward and ahead rather than looking back. Planning alone is not enough because it fixes future activities to results based on the present business perspective. Managers should exercise greater flexibility with broader view beyond just the results they want. Leading people to participate in managing the processes empowers them as true owners of those processes with greater influence on results. This allows self-regulating dynamics in the workplace, improves the way people value results, and makes work more enjoyable.

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