When Is Time Management Not Enough?Written by Gerry McRae
A working manager needs more than time management.
That old saying, ďDance with one that brought you to ball,Ē came to mind as I received a reality jolt recently.
Let me share with you that jolting insight. I was in transition away from managing several groups of technicians and professionals to more personal hands-on production management. My self-image and reputation lead me to assume that simply putting in same hours in my usual efficient manner would do trick. So, I continued tracking my time.
It was necessary to get back to basics or, to use wisdom of that old saying, to dance with one who got me from there to here. Namely, tracking specific actions that produce results instead of tracking time spent on specific and general activity.
What I was suspecting was painfully true. Effective results were falling short of my own standards and objectives.
I replaced my time managing controls with production controls. My daily discipline, attitudes and focus changed immediately and so did output. I was no longer deceiving myself by playing that look-how-hard-Iím-trying game
Itís a humbling experience when manager needs same supervision as salespeople, technicians and other such producers. Itís embarrassing when a manager applies to oneself same stringent supervisory methods he or she once used on salespersons and other responsible persons working in critical profit centers.
While this piece is directed to owner/manager who plays a hands-on role in a small business, it serves as a reminder to all managers who could be due for a comparative review of daily actions, time use and actual output.
The Significance of the MundaneWritten by Robert F. Abbott
This article begins with a tip of hat to a scholarly publication called Journal of Mundane Behavior. Unlike other publications, which herald important issues, this one trumpets everyday, but rarely noticed, behaviors. It sees what rest of us overlook because that stuff is so, well, mundane (my dictionary defines 'mundane' as being ordinary or common).
For example, I just read an article in Journal about beards and shaving, one that interests me because I've had a beard for almost as long as I've been able to shave. And while that subject may interest me, it doesn't mean much in great scheme of things.
Today, I'm interested in connection between mundane and communication. In this article we'll explore how great strategies can emerge from observing not great, but everyday events. We'll use our understanding of seemingly insignificant things and behaviors to come up with grand strategies.
Federal Express, for example, used to run humorous television ads that showed ordinary people, shipping clerks I suppose, and how scared they were that their shipments might not get to their destinations on time.
Clearly, a case of using mundane to craft a great marketing strategy. That advertising strategy, coupled with a strong business strategy, led to one of entrepreneurial success stories of 20th century.
And that business strategy might not have been so successful without advertising strategy. After all, most companies would have opted for commercials showing shiny cargo planes, pilots in crisp uniforms, or bright people figuring out cargo scheduling.