Does MBWA (Management By Wandering Around) Still Work?Written by Harry K. Jones
Tom Peters, alumnus of management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company and one of today's best known and highest paid management gurus, first came to prominence in 1982 as he "knocked our socks off" with his eye-opening best-seller In Search of Excellence. This thought-provoking classic provided us with many valuable lessons from America's Best-Run Companies. Today, 20 years and ten best sellers later, Peters is still on cutting edge of on-going business revolution that never seems to end.
In his first book, Peters introduced us to key concept of MBWA (Management By Wandering Around). After a brief definition of this powerful strategy, he shared a number of MBWA examples from such notable organizations as Hewlett-Packard, GE, PepsiCo, LucasFilm, Corning Glass, 3M, Disney and Wal-Mart. This unique approach obviously worked well for these and other companies in early 80's. However, has it stood test of time?
Tom Peters believes it has … as does a great number of leaders and organizations who continue pursuit of excellence in today's competitive marketplace.
MBWA does not mean leaving your responsibilities behind as you stroll through nearest shopping mall. Even wandering through your organization can do more harm than good if it isn't executed properly.
Here are a few tips to assist you in that same pursuit as you Manage By Wandering Around.
* Appear relaxed as you make your rounds. Employees will reflect your feelings and actions.
* Remain open and responsive to questions and concerns.
Providing a Target Yields Better ResultsWritten by Kathleen J. Wheelihan
Did you ever wonder why employees don’t always get their best possible results for job performance? While there are many possible reasons, one that is simple to resolve is to start off with clear expectations for job.
Imagine a military operation where no target has been defined. It would be almost impossible to succeed. Individuals may feel compelled to choose their own targets to feel a sense of accomplishment, or may take no action at all. They wouldn’t understand how their actions fit in with overall strategic plan of campaign, and therefore it would be difficult to make a meaningful contribution. The same thing can happen in workplace.
Clear expectations remove guesswork that can cause employees to do wrong work, do work in wrong way, or even do no meaningful work at all. The results can be frustrating for you and your employees and can lead to greater problems such as dissatisfied customers, higher costs, lower productivity and profits, lost business, unmotivated employees, employee turnover, or worse, safety hazards and accidents, or in extreme cases, loss of life.
Expectations are given in many forms. A few of ways supervisors and managers can provide targets for employees include:
* Company or department mission statement; * Departmental and individual goals to support corporate plans; * Job descriptions; * Policies and procedures; * Safety standards; and * Leading by example.
Expectations can also be established using following six-step process in an interactive discussion with employees: * Describe job in terms of its major outcomes and how it fits into larger picture. * Agree on measurable performance criteria. * Mutually identify necessary skills, resources, and guidelines. * Determine priorities. * Review and check for understanding and commitment. * Set a date for an early progress review.