Management Lessons from Terry Ryan

Management Lessons from Terry Ryan: Humility, Stability & Personality from Management by Baseball:

competitors in any endeavor figure anything easy must not be a very important differentiator (bass-ackwards of course, but the erroneous mental algebra is that if it was important and easy both, everyone could/would do it and since they’re not doing it and it’s easy it, therefore, must not be important. Goofy but widespread thinking. As long as Ryan and his team make this seem like luck or just simple stuff, others won’t feel like they’re being outfoxed (which is not an incentive to deal with the fox again).

This seems true to me. I can’t really understand why people seem unwilling to do the simple known things to improve performance. But there does seem to be the attitude that we need to find secret or fantastic new ideas in order to learn.

People seem to think: “I can’t just read some idea in a book published 30 years ago and improve. If it were that easy everyone would be doing it.” Well it isn’t quite that easy but it is close. Just do the obvious things that have been well publicized for decades and you will do much better than most.

Ryan says the whole operation has had this 10- to 12 year run of stable key folk. This lowers overhead, as anyone who has ever worked in a healthy small business. Operational overhead shrivels becaus[e] people learn what others’ strengths are, learn to trust and leave people alone to do their jobs. Once it becomes apparent that chronic office politics and effort invested in other overhead activities gets no organizational reward, people look for alternatives (like real work) with which to win brownie points.

Avoiding Deming’s deadly disease: mobility of top management.

Toyota Manufacturing Powerhouse, Relentless, Detroit News:

Unusual among automakers, “they don’t hide a lot,” Coventry said. “It’s like going to the Super Bowl and having the opposite side throw their playbook on the table. It’s as if they feel they can still beat you on the field.”

Here is one simple way to get results. Use the Leader’s Handbook by Peter Scholtes. Some more great management books.

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