Joe and Wanda on Management

Joe Kerr and Wanda B. Goode, two characters from Nick McCormick’s book, “Lead Well and Prosper,” dispense their management wisdom

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Month: July, 2011

Managers and Decision-Making

27 July, 2011 (14:22) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In his new book, Workarounds that Work, Russell Bishop writes about the difficulty managers have making decisions and how detrimental it can be to their organizations. One of the reasons he offers for the difficulty lies in the very nature of what it means to decide.

The suffix of decide (“cide”) means to kill (suicide, homicide, insecticide, etc). When we decide, we actually kill off other options. Bishop advocates “choosing” over deciding. Choosing invokes freedom, and doesn’t necessarily force the attribution of right or wrong on possible solutions.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe: I’ve decided our moderator is a nut-job and choose not to answer the question.

Wanda: Interesting distinction. I think the way we frame things can make a difference. Focusing on the best ways to achieve desired outcomes versus knocking off ideas until the last one is standing seems like an effective approach.

Here’s an article that offers up an approach called, the “Rational Decision-Making Method.”
Is the Rational Decision-Making Method Right for Your Organization?

Managers, What’s Your Opinion?

19 July, 2011 (21:42) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

This past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer printed an article that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times entitled, “Everybody has One,” written by Gregory Rodriquez.

The article quotes a 1983 study by University of Michigan political scientist, George Bishop, which revealed that “30 percent of people who are polled will give their opinion on an entirely fictitious piece of legislation if not explicitly offered a response alternative that allows them to admit they don’t know anything about it.”

Rodriguez later states, “We seem to be obsessed with opinions because we take them to be a marker of individual independence, distinctiveness, and reasoned intelligence.”

We managers seem to think it’s our obligation to offer our opinions, don’t we?

Thoughts, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I don’t really have an opinion on this one… Just kidding. I prefer to follow my mother’s advice – “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” In this case, as in almost every other, what I have to say is very nice. My opinions are a view into my soul, and my soul is definitely something worth sharing. While I’m on the subject of soles… no open-toed shoes on Fridays please. Very un-professional.

Wanda B. Goode: It’s OK if we don’t have all the answers. There is no reason to pipe up unless we have something valuable to contribute. Take a lesson from the Socrates quote from the same article…

“I appear to be wiser than he because I do not fancy I know what I don’t know.”

Here’s a related post on management babble…
Want Employees to Listen, Stop Talking

Story About Something that Had to be Done

11 July, 2011 (22:22) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In Russel Bishop’s new book, Workarounds that Work, he mentions the following “old story about something that had to be done.”

An important job had to be done, and everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job. Everybody thought that anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.

Thoughts, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I usually just tell somebody else to do it. Problem solved.

Wanda B. Goode: It’s easy to complain and to blame, but it’s those that take ownership and get things done that reap the rewards.

Here’s a related post…
Accountability Creates Results and Job Satisfaction

2011 July Leadership Development Carnival

5 July, 2011 (21:32) | Management | By: Administrator

Dan McCarthy hosts the July, 2011 Leadership Development Carnival at his site, Great Leadership. Sample the dozens of management and leadership articles posted this month.