Feel like Harry at Agincourt? But how do you inspire your happy bandwhen the odds are stacked against you?
Into 2013 I think we have rid ourselves of any lingering traces of denial and accepted that the situation is difficult. We’ve got over ‘denial, concealment, discussion and negotiation, confrontation’ and hopefully not ‘collapsed’. But now what?
We need ‘remedial management’ and NOW.
Unlike ‘incumbent management’, ‘remedial management’ has no emotional attachment to assets and programmes, is not encumbered by a pre-existing relationship with lenders and creditors, and is therefore able to approach the task dispassionately. They are capable of instigating and directing multi-functional, simultaneous change programmes. Experienced individuals unfettered by ‘tradition’ – and probably not the person you’d want to lead a company when times are good. Hence, here’s the fundamental challenge to being a good manager in bad times: you just might not be up to the task in terms of experience, psychology, outlook or skills.
I have a handful of ideas of observed behaviors from the better managers I meet: • First, you might need to ask ‘what right do you have even to exist as an organisation’ – just because you are a legal entity? Think again. We must win that right from all stakeholders – customers and staff. • Second, you need to facilitate greater engagement from your people in a world of challenges to achieve that first objective. • Third, get your people working as teams – to share their learning, if nothing else. • Fourth, ‘become the change you want to see’ (with apologies to Ghandi). This means start becoming a true role model: ‘walk-the-walk’ (act it), don’t just ‘talk-the-talk’ (say it)! • And finally, recognize that there are finite resources – people, expertise, time… which leads back to the first idea. Managers need to continually ask ‘what right do we have to prosper’ – and do those things to win the right.
OK, so how do you do that? Well, while management training might not be top of your organisation’s investment aims in 2013, I bet you still aim to get the best out of your people. So, a short review of sound management practice might be just what your managers need to gain some pretty practical ideas on not being a ‘Muppet’ when trying to be a manager! Have a look at our section on Better Managers to get further ideas