Grove. Highly effective management (book synopsis)

Grove. Highly effective management (book synopsis)

There are times when the right books come at the right time. Perhaps this channel makes such situations more frequent. In my life, one of the best examples is the book of the man who made Intel one of the world’s largest companies. She helped me take on the role of manager when I was at the beginning of my management journey. The book is called “High output management” and, unlike most books by successful managers, it is not a good memoir, but a set of real management practices.

the main idea

The main product of any manager is the productivity of his organization. And accordingly, the main efforts of the manager should be aimed at increasing the productivity or value of the products of the people for whose work he is responsible.

What should an effective manager do?

  • Add value, not just convey information. How to do it? By constantly looking for ways that can really improve the state of affairs in your direction.

  • Be involved in everything that happens around you. Both within your company and in your industry in general.

  • Trying new techniques, ideas and technologies, rather than waiting for others to decide for you, can help reshape your direction and your workplace.

  • Solve problems, and try to do it at the lowest possible level of value addition. This makes it necessary to create such a system that will allow “detecting and rejecting a rotten egg as soon as it is delivered to us from the supplier, rather than waiting for the customer to detect it.” For this, in turn, you will need a set of indicators, indicators by which you measure regularly.

Manager’s activities

Any manager is obliged to deal with many things at the same time and to switch his attention and energy to the activity that is most capable of increasing the productivity of his direction. In other words, he should go on to perform those tasks where his leverage will be the highest.

A large part of the manager’s work is related to the allocation of resources: labor, money and capital. However, the single most important resource we deal with every day is our own time.
Most of the manager’s working day should be spent receiving information, conveying information and making decisions. This inevitably involves delegating most of the tasks. Note that delegation implies accompaniment, because without it it becomes a simple delegation of authority.

Even after you delegate it to someone else, you are still responsible for it, and monitoring how that delegated task is performed is the only effective way you can ensure that the desired result is achieved. Observation has ceased to be an intervention in one’s affairs, it only means a check to make sure that some activity is progressing according to expectations.

Productivity of the manager

The manager’s productivity (that is, the volume of the manager’s output per unit of time worked) can be increased in three ways:

  1. Increasing the pace at which the manager conducts his activities, speeding up his work. This, in particular, can be achieved by grouping similar tasks.

  2. Increasing the leverage associated with various types of management activities.

  3. Switching from performing a number of activities with low leverage to those with higher.

Employee productivity

Any manager has two ways to increase the productivity of subordinates: training and motivation.

Employee training is one of the most leveraged activities a manager can perform. And the training of employees should be done primarily by the manager himself.

And motivation is closely related to the concept of needs that make people have urges that lead, in turn, to motivation. A need after satisfaction ceases to be a need and therefore ceases to be a source of motivation. In other words, if we want to create and maintain a high level of motivation, we must keep some needs unsatisfied all the time. People usually have many conflicting needs, but one of them is always stronger than the others. And this need is the one that largely determines the motivation of this individual, and therefore, his level of productivity.

Meetings with employees

Meetings are means of management work. This means that we should not fight their existence, but rather use the time as efficiently as possible. It is also worth considering that the meetings include mutual learning and information exchange. Speaking about specific problems and situations, the boss teaches the subordinate his skills and know-how, and also suggests ways of doing things. At the same time, the subordinate provides the boss with detailed information about what he does and what worries him.

In addition to group meetings, any manager should set aside about half a day a week for individual communication with each of his direct reports.

What should touch such meetings? We can start with performance indicators, that is, indicators used by subordinates, such as order flow rates, production volume, or project status. At the same time, the emphasis should be on those indicators that signal some problems. The meeting should cover anything important that has happened since the last meeting: current staffing issues, people issues in general, organizational issues and plans for the future, and potential issues.

For each employee, you need to keep a “regular” file, in which you will accumulate important issues that do not need immediate resolution, for discussion at the next meeting.

Providing feedback

The purpose of feedback is to improve the subordinate’s performance.
When we evaluate the actions of an employee, we must first clarify two issues: the first is to determine the subordinate’s qualification level in order to establish what skills he lacks and in what ways this problem can be solved; and the second is to increase the motivation of the subordinate to bring him to the curve of more efficient work at the same level of qualification.

In order to make evaluation less difficult, the boss needs to realize in advance for himself what he expects from the subordinate, and then try to decide whether he is working according to expectations or not. The biggest problem with most evaluations is that we usually don’t define what we want from our subordinates.

The evaluation should be given individually in personal communication and, before such a meeting, you should write down in advance the positive and negative aspects of the employee’s work and three key messages that you want to convey to him/her.

Other books on the topic: Drucker. Management practice, Winter. Head of Tools, Tulgan. Being the boss is okay, Wickman. Business tracking, Iacocca. The head of the manager. And read more summaries and selections of books on my channel “It is worth writing down“.

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