Catalytic Management Consulting
Accelerating Growth, Driving Performance

3 Management Practices For Greater Success in 2007

Regardless of last year’s performance, as the new year approaches, you’ve analyzed the good, the bad and the ugly of 2006. You’ve devoted time, energy and creativity to developing strategies for 2007 that will deliver even better performance. Financial ratios have been established. Innovative marketing plans will increase market share and customer needs will be met with new products and services. 2007 is going to be a great year!

But before you celebrate the great year you just know is coming, you need to consider and address three management practices whose impact on performance will be greater than all the ratios, marketing dollars and product development put together. The latest research in organizational effectiveness demonstrates that companies that are strong in these three management practices find themselves at the top. Those practices involve communicating an inspiring vision, defining clear roles, and building and sustaining an open and trusting culture.

Direction

An inspiring, clear vision is the basis for informed decision making. Your employees make decisions very day, big and small that impact the company’s ability to meet it goals. Studies indicate that executives who define broad, stretch goals are far more likely to see positive outcomes than those who practice detailed top-down leadership. A clear company vision and operating strategy make it easier for managers and supervisors to identify the right priorities.

Accountability

Accountability too often translates into “management by consequence”—the reliance upon evaluation systems, rewards and punishments to drive behavior. If you want people to accept responsibility for results, begin with very clear role designs that create real clarity around autonomy and decision making. Make it abundantly clear what is most important to the organization and then give people the freedom to make decisions. They will far more readily accept responsibility and actions will be become proactive versus reactive. The freedom to make decisions and the freedom to occasionally fail, encourages critical thinking, encourages creativity and drives results. Employees who must “wait for answers from on high” before making decisions become frustrated and disengaged.

Culture

Companies that emphasize openness and trust among employees, see much higher performance behavior. Organizational research highlights that the traditional approach of focusing on internal competition, process driven efficiencies and inflexible structures are far less likely to drive desired behavior than cultures of openness and trust.

The Lesson for the New Year: Knowing that your employees will perform at their best if they are working toward a future that attracts them, if they can operate freely, if they are encouraged to improve constantly and if they can trust their colleagues and the organization, what can you do now and through out the next year that will make these critical factors a reality in your organization? Your strategies and objectives stand a far better chance of succeeding if you incorporate these management practices into your 2007 plans and beyond.

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