Improving Delegation

Delegation

Delegation: Let’s keep it simple.

  1. Find someone who will accept responsibility for the desired outcome.
  2. Explain that you do not have the time and/or expertise to design the solution.
  3. Ask the person to propose an approach which you have some confidence (not certainty) will succeed with the resources agreed to, e.g., hours, budget, tools, deadline, etc.
  4. Don’t abdicate, delegate: follow-up frequently on progress and impediments to show that you still value the outcome, perhaps using something like my progress report format.

“Give as few orders as possible,” his father Duke Leto had told him… once… long ago. “Once you’ve given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.”

Dune by Frank Herbert
p. 628 Penguin Publishing Group

Which tasks should you delegate? See this post, 3 Ds of Delegation

 


 

A Simple Habit That Can Boost Productivity

NASA-DC-9-cockpit


Repeat Back
&
Report Back

Here is a simple habit that can boost productivity in your organization. One client credits this technique for an 18% increase in annual revenue with a reduced headcount. It takes practice but quickly becomes second nature.

I brought this method into the workplace from my flight training. Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) must communicate precisely and briefly while also executing specialized tasks. Misunderstandings in aircraft can have horrible consequences, so specific communication techniques are required. Many of the most serious accidents are caused by failure to follow these practices, including the 1977’s Tenerife Airport Disaster, commercial aviation’s deadliest incident.

Talk may be cheap but miscommunication is costly.

Have you ever listened to the (more…)

What Evil Lurks in the Design of Public Companies

CofC_milgram

 

Too many jobs are perfectly constructed to elicit inhumane behavior. Read my book to learn how it got this way.
 

The most fundamental lesson of our study:

 

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.

 

Even when asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

 

—Professor Stanley Milgram, PhD
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
Perennial Classics 2009 p. 6.

Professor Milgram was responsible for two psychological studies that became well-known by the general public while having almost no positive influence on government or corporate structures, the “administer a painful shock” compliance experiment and the “Small World” six degrees of separation demonstration.

 


 

The Power of Progress Reports

 


 

TonyMayo.com-Progress-Report-image Of all the management tools I recommend, one of the most effective is both very simple and very unlikely to be consistently employed—if it is used at all: the written progress report, completed on a consistent schedule.

The power of progress reports to promote results and reduce anxiety is demonstrated daily, on matters titanic and trivial. The U. S. Constitution requires that the President “from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union.” Public companies are required by law to present results to shareholders, at fixed intervals and in specific formats. Schools send regular reports to parents, our GPS tells where we are, and UPS sends a text when a package arrives.

Still, managers and employees resist implementing this simple process.

Why?

Who cares about why? Just grow up and start doing a progress report. Declare your goals. Confront your results. Adjust to living in reality. Enjoy the benefits of clarity while the less disciplined fail and fail in a fog of vague expectations and inchoate regrets.

Before I explain how to format and prepare a good progress report, let’s deal with some common excuses questions.

Q: I don’t have a boss.

A: If you have (more…)

Tony Mayo’s New Novel on Sale Now!


Crimes of Cunning: On Sale September 22, 2015

Crimes of Cunning

On Sale Now!

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.  He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.

It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.

–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901

A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.

 



Click here to read a free sample.


 

Click here to be notified when it is released on Kindle and as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 


 

Crimes of Cunning


 

On Sale Now!Crimes of Cunning now on Kindle

Crimes of Cunning

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.

He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.

It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.

–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901

A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.

 



Click here to read a free sample.


 

Click here to be notified when it is released as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 



Click here to learn the source and meaning of the book’s title.


 

Pixar Fosters Creative Community

 


 

I believe that community matters. … Pixar is a community in the true sense of the word. We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs:

  • Talent is rare.
  • Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur….we don’t second-guess or micromanage.
  • It must be safe to tell the truth. …get honest feedback from everyone.
  • We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture. …Nobody pulls any punches to be polite.

Pixar’s Operating Principles

1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.

2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.

3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.

if we aren’t always at least a little scared, we’re not doing our job.

 

 

–How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
by Ed Catmull, President
Harvard Business Review