Successful companies create a culture that fosters creativity and cooperation. It’s not unusual within a company to have some spirit of competition between departments and many owners believe that this is an excellent method to increase productivity and profits. My observation is that while this approach can have some positive effects there are some dangers inherent to this competitive process.
When, you pit one group against another in a “Zero/ Sum” environment there will be “Winners and Losers”. Anytime you create a situation where someone is a loser you create the strong possibility for negative morale.
I see in the process of “Sharing” a much better and more productive approach among the management team.
A definition I prefer regarding management is that managers are ‘Decision Makers’. In other words they are given by the president or CEO the responsibility and the power to ‘make decisions’ which in turn, will support the people who report to them. ‘Decision Makers’ provided the oil the wheels of the wagon need and they focus on removing the barriers which stop employees from doing as good as they can.
The process of sharing among the ‘Decision Makers’ include not only the information needed to make a decision, but the shared process of arriving at decisions on the management level. What this means is that ‘Decision Makers’ are more highly motivated to follow a plan that they were part of creating.
What are some of the things a management team needs to share?
Knowing what the company’s wide goals are is critical to the success of the company. If everyone knows where the company is planning to go then anyone can raise the alarm if the company starts to cruise in the wrong direction.
Understanding the plan and strategies, which are used to achieve that goal, allows individual managers to format their approach. When company goals are broken down to individual department responsibilities, there will be a greater chance of successful reaching those goals.
It is critical that the management team meets on a regular basis (no less than once a month) to review the current status of the plan. The reports used to provide needed information to the ‘decision makers’ are in their hands no less than two days before the meeting.
What might we do differently?
When the current status report indicates that the company is not on plan, then strategies should be created to get the company back on course or the planned goals should be changed to reflect what is possible.
Sharing with the best
There should be an agreed upon method of communication with the rest of the team. The communication should be on a regular and anticipated basis. If information exists which should not be shared, all managers must be aware and agree.
A final thought: Sharing goals and strategies among the managers results in a very positive and powerful force. The feeling that individuals are all part of a greater whole, help interdepartmental sharing of solutions. When the management team of an organization believes that ‘we are in this together’, not only will goals be achieved, they will be exceeded.
Next: Sharing among employees