10 Tips to Reality Management
I do usually write in Spanish but in this special post about Reality Management I would like to perform a test and write in English - I hope that’s ok for my frequent readers and that this is received even as a positive thing for most of them – no risk, no gain, no fun.
There are a lot of Management Gurus out there elevating themselves to an ‘Olympus’ level.
They pronounce speeches about the new management trends – naming them as the holy grail of management.
Then they sell their books and their participation on conferences at a stratospheric wages.
Well, that’s ok.
The issue is that many times this approach is really thousands of milles away of the reality that Executive, Senior and Middle Management face in their Enterprise.
Many of them didn’t have the experience so they talk more from the theory than from a pragmatic reality.
This post will outline 10 Tips to implement in a Realistic way the Management styles, techniques and ideas that you may learn or already know.
1. Reality Management Tip 1: Starting point is important
- The reality of the Enterprise is that the starting point of whatever change or innovation you may want to implement, matters. And matters a lot.
- Is it a financially healthy company or are you running out of cash and focus now is on reducing Costs and improving Cash-Flow?
- Are you 5 employees, 50, 500 , 5.000 or 50.000 employees?
- How is the Company currently dealing with innovation?
- You need to understand what is the starting point to be able to define how to Implement your Management Style.
2. Reality Management Tip 2: Organizational Culture is an important factor to be taken into account
- The reality of the Company Culture is an important factor to consider.
- It is not the same to implement the same management style in a Small Medium Sized business 100 years old, with very rooted culture, than to implement it in a Start-up SMB.
- It is not the same to implement the same approach in an IT Corporation that in an Industrial Corporation.
- It is not the same to implement it in a UK based culture than in a Japanese based Culture.
- Try to understand the Company Culture before doing a lot of changes or you may face a strange surprise or unpredicted behavior.
3. Reality Management Tip 3: Watch out about the CEO management style
- CEO’s are role models. Conscious or unconsciously. CEO’s management style affect very heavily across the organizational ladder.
- One authoritative CEO will drive faster but less commonly agreed decision making style.
- One weak CEO will lead to more soft approach and ‘less committment’ management style in the organization.
- One visionary CEO will add clear sense of purpose and direction, which can help the organization where to go. But if this is not coped with clear Execution skills in the next levels, there could also be a greenfield for errors, hesitations on how to implement the Strategy and finally too many mistakes to cope to.
- CEO Management style will provide a context for how to implement management or innovation changes and will affect the probability of success of them.
4. Reality Management Tip 4: Map the Competences and Skills of your Organization and Team
- Sorry to say, but it is not the same to try to implement something in let’s say Google (with top notch brilliant people) that in a low-talent driven Company (‘in which the predominant culture has been – we pay you just to do your job and not to think).
- You will need to adapt your approach and how much do you aspire to do in how much time to the reality of the Competences and Skills of the employees of the Organization. In the mid long term run you may add new DNA from external Companies to be combined with the current organizational skills.
- The reality is that it’s important that this is done in a smooth way so that the organization doesn’t break, and that you don’t loose too many people – that may not be able to follow while in reality they could add a lot of talent and experience - across this change.
5. Reality Management Tip 5: Chosing the right time matters
- It is not the same to implement a change towards Innovation in a moment where all the Company is engaging in a Cost Cutting period than when the Company is starting to invest in Growth initiatives. You may argue that both can and should be done at the same time – and usually that is truth – but the reality is that Companies are more biased towards one of both depending on the year or the period.
- It is not the same to implement this kind of change when your inmediate manager is under strong pressure to deliver short term results that if the manager is solidly positioned, with strong top management support and trust, and can implement more longer term strategies of change in management or innovation arena.
- Momentum is also key in chosing the right moment to deploy your approach. You can build momentum for your own initiative, but it is always easier if you ride the waves in the direction they are already going (i.e. innovation direction, or growth direction…). Look at the momentum in the organization and detect if you can use it in your favor.
6. Reality Management Tip 6: Your level of Influence matters
- Obviously your business card name helps you from the beginning: a CEO has more empowerment to do changes that a Business Analyst.
- Also, your current level of influence and credibility within the organization matters: If you are a well-recognized positive ‘trojan’ of change (a key individual that has the credibility, will, energy, competences and capacity) to drive major change in the organization you will probably have more probability of success than other employees of your same level or function that may try to initiate the same approach
7. Reality Management Tip 7: Organizational Stakeholders are important -
- Your stakeholders can chose to collaborate and help you… they can easily decide as well put barriers on your initiatives. You need to understand this.
- There is a lot of hidden area in an iceberg. The same happens in Companies. As Kottler said in one of his Steps for creating change in the Organization, it is important to create and have a coallition of allies within the organization to help you with your change.
- You need to undertand their needs, motivations and starting point, in order to inspire them to help you in your journey to change – this makes all easier and faster.
8. Reality Management Tip 8: Know yourself first and take yourself into account
- You have talents, strenghts and weaknesses. All of them determine your capacity to deploy the change. Take them into account in order to chose the right approach for you – not the one you may be recommended in a book – or in a post.
9. Reality Management Tip 9: Have a plan to Execute the deployment of your Management or Innovation Strategy
- Do first your homework on the different Tips we have seen so far.
- Then, draft a plan – using your talents – intuition, structure, facts, vision, whatever is strong to you , etc.
- And use it to sequentially deploy your plan.
10. Reality Management Tip 1o: Be realistic on your Capacity to Execute the Strategy
- I always say that the ‘Capacity analysis and plan to execute the strategy should be part of the chosen Strategy itself’ .
- Many Companies, Executives or Managers chose a Strategy without taking into account a Realistic approach on how they are going to deploy this Strategy.
- This like deciding how are you going to play Chess without knowing if you are going to have all the pieces. Makes no sense. You need first to understand which are your Organizational tools, Starting points and ‘Reality Management Tips’ and then define what is the Strategy that will maximize the Probability of Success. Of course it’s a 2 way – Strategy defines execution needs and execution capacity influences Strategy. Anyway, this is a more pragmatic approach to chose the right Strategy.
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So far posts are written in Spanish but we invite you to translate them using your google chrome features – if there is significant demand for English version posts we may repeat this experience.