Hints & Tips Blog

More Pointers to Better Management

Being a business manager can be tough. You occupy a delicate intermediary position between senior management and the workforce, where you have to provide an effective balance to the needs of both parties. You strive to interpret business direction and strategies into clear goals and tasks for delivery by your teams to achieve those goals. And while you’re doing all that, you’re also constantly seeking improvements and greater efficiencies.

Here are a few additional pointers towards more effective business management:

  1. Constructive division of labour

From time to time you may undergo changes in the composition of your team, the market or your company’s objectives. When this happens, you’ll have to assess the division of team labour to determine whether it’s still optimal. Priorities may have changed within a team, as people acquire experience and develop new skills. This enables them to undertake more or different tasks.

New projects may be in the offing, or already on the table, so it’ll be useful to consider whether the workload and current configuration of your team are still effective. If you discover improvements in efficiency that can be achieved by making adjustments – make them.

  1. The ‘aggregation of marginal gains’

This phrase is used to describe a concept deployed by world-famous cycling coach, Sir Dave Brailsford. It’s argued that his application of the concept led to the dizzying success of the British cycling team in the 2012 Olympics.

The principle involves breaking down a system into its contributory parts, and then improving every minute detail of each part by 1%. Individually the gain is marginal, but the aggregated 1%s add up to produce a significant overall improvement.

You can apply this principle just as well to business. If you look at an organisation as a whole, it’s not easy to pinpoint a single major change that will revolutionise your performance. Your managers, though, are closely enough engaged with the project teams and the company’s operational procedures to find those 1%s and apply them.

Just like the cycling team, each individual improvement might be useful, but won’t noticeably impact the overall operation. Taken together, however, the aggregate gain can be formidable.

To help you identify potential improvements, consider these two approaches:

  • Spend some time studying the root cause of any problems, rather than making do with a quick fix.
  • Listen to those on your workforce who perform routine daily tasks; their input and ideas may help you identify potential small improvements.
  1. Lead by example

You can’t legitimately manage other peoples’ performance if you’re a bad role model. If your meetings always start late and run over, you change scheduled meetings at the last minute or your timescales slip, you’re setting a bad example. If this is typical of your leadership style, you’re sending a subconscious message to your people that deadlines and targets are flexible.

As a manager, people will be looking to you to see how they should do things, so it’s your responsibility to ensure they’re seeing the best.

Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business is unique. Our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real-world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business. To arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting, please click here