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The Driving Force

In order to maximize all potential benefits from your operations, there is plenty of “recognition” required to be done. We discussed having to recognize what Advantage of yours had to be exploited in our “What’s your Advantage” article. What cannot escape us is that alongside all day-to-day execution, our primary driving force is the “know-how” to go about all such activities.

And in this, lies the importance of properly developing and responsibly appointing the right resources to the right job. May all things considered be correctly aligned in the filling of management positions; particularly, middle-management positions, then our managers are more experienced professionals than their own team members.

Certainly, these Management positions come with the need to be a good delegator. And while you can find plenty of articles on delegation techniques; it must be must recognized the steering “know-how” must not be delegated. This does not mean it is the Manager’s way or the highway. Instead, it means it is the Manager’s responsibility to lay out the path on how execution is to occur, in consensus with the team member who will lead the job. This collaboration can always introduce different ways to do things, while maintaining alignment against the ultimate goals.

By no means should the above flirt with micro-management; but by giving it the benefit of the doubt, I believe there is some misconception by management about this, preventing steering to be done consistently. Let us be honest and think about how many times we have approached a fellow manager regarding an operational matter, and there is a “void” that prevents further discussion. There should always be a “baseline” for discussion when a Manager covers the below areas as part of laying down the path on day-to-day activities:

  1. Workflow and reasons for applicable constraints.
  2. Potential Risks.
  3. Collaboration & Integration with out-of-department resources.

For any Manager, the above shall:

  1. Not only ensure activities are done in their necessary order, but the direct-report will enjoy an in-depth understanding for conscious decision making as needed.
  2. Mitigate risks.
  3. Encourage a unified front and shared ownership/credit across departments.
  4. Clearly define “what” to monitor or measure.
  5. Expand recognition of additional value-added opportunities.
  6. Minimize “surprises” when discussing what is done in the department’s scope.

Granted, based on Team members familiarity with current operations, this approach may look like an overkill. But, while the above can become a routinary maintenance exercise; the extension of it towards brand new projects or initiatives is when its added-value is enhanced. And never mind the fact that disciplined continuity is what sustains healthy habits.

Case in point, the implementation of any new business solutions will always “disrupt” day-to-day business. Let it be in terms of replacement or addition, the process will involve steps the Team may not have done before. Risk can quickly escalate exponentially when dealing with unprecedented activities.

This brings us to the fact that there is a significant difference between day-to-day activities and the implementation of new business solutions. Disrupting projects are neither kind nor considerate with people’s time; and will pull existing resources in many different directions. And while the competence to get re-aligned into best business practices is already in the management ranks, its realization requires focus. The importance of a “driving force” support system during the implementation of new business solutions cannot be downplayed, and securing proven services is simply the responsible thing to do.

At the same time, it is also responsible to procure only what is needed, and “flexibility” is the key to the game. Due diligence will allow you to select a provider that offers you the most appropriate driving force formula; and achieve that fine balance between continue managing the business, and laying down and manage the path of your new endeavor. Only a service provider mature in internal processes and controls can offer tailor-made options; and in the services industry your optimal business partner is one that can cater to your specific needs.

It is time to find that perfectly balanced driving force!

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