Management Improvement Carnival #140

Benjamin Mitchell hosts Management Improvement Carnival #140. He has choosen quite a few blogs making their first or second appearance on the management carnival (don’t forget to add blogs to your RSS feed that you are not already subscribed to), highlights include:

  • Forecasting misunderstood by David M. Kasprzak
    David writes well about understanding the purpose of forecasting and reporting to avoid counter-productive fire-fighting management behaviour:

    Forecasting has to do with long-term vision and strategy, measurement, and learning. Focusing on reporting without planning leads to delayed information and chronic “hot buttons” that require immediate attention.

    When this occurs, the PDCA cycle is simply broken. The end result is a system where the people in the organization are in a constant state of “Do!” and “Act!” without any sense of why they are doing anything, or if their efforts have actually caused an improvement.

  • Change Artist Challenge #7: Being Fully Absent by Gerald Weinberg
    For managers who want to create systems that allow people to do great work, one solid test is to see if the systems works without you there:

    Your challenge is to take a week away from work, and when you get back, notice what changed without you being there. … Do you think you can’t do this? Then you have a different assignment … “If you’re going on a week-long vacation and feel the project cannot do without you, then take a two-week vacation.”
  • Leadership Coaching Tip: A Process for Change by Barbara Alexander
    Starting with a reference to Deming’s famous quote “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory”, Barbara writes a summary of the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey including their focus on uncovering the competing commitments and underlying assumptions which keep us “immune from change”:

    One example from Immunity To Change that many of us may relate to is the leader whose goal is to be more receptive to new ideas. As you might imagine the behaviors he’s doing instead of his goal include talking too much, not asking open-ended questions and using a curt tone when an employee makes a suggestion. His hidden competing commitments? You guessed it . . . to have things done his way and to maintain his sense of self as a super problem solver
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