Friday, March 24, 2006

new definition of a mid-level manager.....

how do you turn around a division that's struggling?

tap into the intellectual capital that already resides in the division way more effectively, allow them to run free a bit. you know who i'm talking about, those mid-level managers for example, who have really no authority whatsoever to sign anything that isn't spoon fed them, all the while sucking the life out of the division.

they know they're working for a dinosaur where most of them sometime soon will be looking at their box of dusty desk ornaments and useless corporate squeeze toy collection on the steps of the office tower they used to spend a lot of time in and wonder, "now what?"

there's so much waste to eliminate, processes and divisions are being streamlined, it's no longer acceptable to have decisions and documents sit on a mid-level manager's desk for a day or two. nope, not even for hours, so one large drain on struggling divisions guessed it, mid-level management and the processes they're tied to. am i saying anything amazing here - no.

however, here's a couple ideas on what to do with that intellectual capital, set them loose on figuring out how to generate profit, turn them into a tactical team of creative geniuses and let them sit and think about how to provide amazing customer service, amazing process improvement, amazing next generation solutions for supply management. they know your business extremely well from their perspective. they can tell you why there's an exodus of staff, why legacy systems aren't working. capture their idea's as effectively as you can.

make highly cool creativity their job and remove the no-mind decision processes and tasks from their desk and insert that into software. sprinkle these tactical teams throughout your organization and give them resources, provide them with a portfolio to attend to, then switch it every quarter for a fresh look at things. here's a thought, send them to spend time on site with your customers observing processes and daily business, unite your services with customer needs more effectively. careful, if you keep that up, these guys might just increase revenue for you and cut fat.

not only will these staff members become so well educated about your company and its customer base, they will finally be challenged and rewarded enough to potentially keep them from jumping off a bridge or jumping over to a competitor. you were probably going to have to let them go at some point and in an environment of human resource shortages too, that's the dinosaur way of solving the problem.

don't just cross-train, extreme cross-train, then listen and then act.

sears........continue not to listen.......please........

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