“Trust the employees”, is what Agile consultants usually tell the managers. But how exactly can they do that next Monday morning?
“Be a servant leader”, is the advice that is given to the managers. But what items should they serve to the people on Friday afternoon?
“Stand back from the team”, is what I sometimes hear people say. But how far should the managers stand back, precisely? 10 meters? 20 meters?
I have noticed that most management advice is not actionable.
The advice is well-meant, but managers have no idea what to do with it. It’s like saying, “keep your balance” to a person who is learning how to be more fit, while she’s trying to make sense of weight loss diets, fitness machines, performance metrics, and an extensive nomenclature for body parts.
The Third Book
Every time I tell people I’m writing materials for a third book, they ask me what it’s about.
Well, this is it. I’m aiming for a book with actionable management advice. Practical things that people can do next Monday morning, in order to grow an organization that is fit and healthy. And not only managers, but everyone who is concerned about the management of an organization. Because, management is too important to be left to the managers. The whole organization should participate in the workout.
That’s why the working title is Management Workout.
In my classes worldwide I noticed that concrete actionable advice is usually most appreciated. The attendees report they want to experiment with ideas I’ve collected from many sources, such as authority boards, moving motivators, FedEx days, visual goal setting, impediment doors, team values, bonus systems, and much more.
With my next book I want to give them exactly that: much more.
I like the idea of using physical workouts as a metaphor in the book. All too often the ideas of brilliant writers have culminated in a process, method, or framework. I don’t like these words. They usually lead to dogmatic approaches to their implementation. People apply the whole framework, without any experimentation, without deviating from the mantra.
With the next book I plan to give people plenty of healthy exercises. It’s going to be an organizational workout! Everyone understands there is no dogma around workout exercises. You can do one, or the other. You can do some, or you can do all. And if you don’t like them, you’re welcome to try and find others, with similar outcomes. It’s totally up to you.
It will be a management workout program.
I hope the book will be ready some time late in 2013. Maybe later. In the meantime I hope to get some people involved. People who want to experiment with the exercises, who want to give feedback, and tell me how the ideas worked out for them (or how they didn’t). I hope for people to send me cool photos and inspiring stories, amazing ideas and crazy thoughts.
I hope one of those people is you.