As I was working with a client last week, I reflected on the role of a manager in a systems thinking environment. If we are to improve the design and management of work . . . the way we manage must change. This should be seen as an opportunity to a more efficient and compassionate leadership strategy.
Taking an outside-in approach we squarely place ourselves in alignment with the customer. There is no need to manage the financials as this will take care of itself when the customer is the center of our thoughts. Taking our minds away from cost control to focus on the causes of costs.
Organizational change management with all the restructuring that leads to new programs and no improvement, gives way to focus management attention on the work. A far cry from the report-driven and anecdotal method embraced by today’s command and control style of management. Silos become non-existent as doing what is right for the customer delivers value rather than turf battles.
Measurement derived from customer purpose replaces the functional targets set from the quarterly dividend, financial forecast or budget. Managers are instead looking at how capable they are at meeting customer demand and the measures that matter to customers.
Meetings related to making sure the customer or supplier are adhering to contracts written, instead look at a systemic review of “what matters” to customers and create a cooperative environment. Working together with suppliers and other managers to act on the system to improve flow rather than manage people and budgets.
Managers and workers learning together how to (first) understand current performance and learn what matters to customers. We move from a reactive environment to an adaptive one. Change is emergent as workers and managers try new methods to improve the work and innovation through better design. Rewarded with the desire to learn more and continue the cycle.
Our need to redesign the way manager’s manage should be at the top of our 2010 to-do list. Is your service organization or government ready for real change?
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Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public). His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work. Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected]. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.Share This: