Tag Archives: Teams

‘Micro’ Management for ‘Macro’ Benefits

Guest Post by James Harrison

Every business-owner faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Half the battle is won, once you find the right people for your team. It becomes completely your responsibility to manage your team once you find the right people. There are several techniques that can help you manage your team in the best possible manner.

Micromanagement is one such team management technique that helps employers observe and supervise their team. It can also be referred to as the ‘micro’ aspect of management. It is all about day-to-day management that helps in keeping the team on track. Some advantages of implementing micromanagement in your business include:

1.      Development Of Employee Skills: Once you’re observing and controlling certain aspects of your employees’ jobs, you can help them develop particular skills and utilize their potential to the fullest.

2.      Promote Accountability Within The Team: You can easily instill a sense of responsibility within the team and help in building mutual trust and respect.

3.      Measure Progress: Micromanagement of your team can help you measure the progress of your team as a whole and help reap greater profits too.

4.      Set Up Deadlines And Stay Connected With Projects: Once you’re micromanaging your employees, you can remain aware of individual statuses of projects. This helps you remain connected with your project status. You can even have changes administered at initial levels and even keep deadlines for your projects.

5.      Bond With Employees: Micromanagement can also help you bond with your employees in a better way. You can help them understand their own career aspirations. Using micromanagement in the right way can also help you ascertain that your team is happy and fully utilized.

Micromanagement can hence, help you enhance productivity of the team as a whole. It is a mutually beneficent way of managing the team, where the employees can understand their roles and capabilities in the best possible manner.

Micromanagement is known to help managers forge extremely strong and good bonds with their employees. Some of these relationships have been so strong that these employees have gone out of their ways to assist their employers during bad times, business moves and some of them have even helped businesses thrive during the difficult economic times.

When micromanagement becomes mismanagement?
Sometimes, micro-managers may supervise beyond a reasonable point. This can have detrimental effects on employee morale, and make employees less productive. It can even make it harder for you to do your own job, if you spend too much time supervising your own team. Studies by Journal of Experimental Psychology have shown that being continuously watched over by managers can distract workers and hinder their working memory too. It can also divert their attention from the relevant task s at hand in such a way that they are unable to complete their tasks.

How to use micromanagement to your advantage?
Most people remain apprehensive about holding employees accountable to their assigned tasks without micromanaging. You can simply not avoid micromanaging your employees. It is however, possible to micromanage your employees without hindering their progress and productivity. Some points to remember while micromanaging your employees are:

1.      Customize Individual Jobs: Research has shown that most employees with diverse jobs have always benefited from personalization. This helped most employees see themselves playing an important role in the organization. It is a great motivation for anybody, and helps enhance productivity. Remember to avoid controlling all the aspects of your employee’s job, and make it a point to accredit the employee for good work with timely appreciation.

2.      Do Not Empower People: Instead of empowering your employees, foster autonomy by adding to the total amount of power available to do work. Recognize and support every individual’s discretion and control in deciding how to do the work. By helping your employees take up individual ownership of their jobs, you can ensure that they feel more stimulated and engaged. This will also help ensure that your employees feel less suffocated by managerial attention.

Make sure you work on your own time allocation. Having a different approach to juggling between leadership, production and administrative duties will help you deliver the best results and exalted productivity.

Author Bio:   James Harrison works as freelance writer. He regularly contributes write ups to business websites and blogs with most of his writings based on tips for small business setups, office moves and marketing techniques. In his free time he plays sports mainly soccer and chess. He is also passionate about reading fiction and traveling.

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Group Intelligence Correlates With Social Aptitude, Not IQ – HBR

Teams and innovation.   I partially agree with “social abilities”  weigh more than team’s individual “aggregate IQ”?  I mean, after all, if the intelligence isn’t available will this not immeasurably alter the result, both individually and collectively?

Excerpt:  Considering the complexity and global nature of business today, work is nearly always a team activity, and often those teams are embedded in ever-shifting networks. A new field of study, collective intelligence, is measuring the ability of teams to solve problems. This research is yielding powerful insights into improving the performance of networks, teams, and other collective groups. One breakthrough finding shows that collective intelligence is variable and measurable and — most surprisingly — correlates more with the social abilities of the team members than with the team’s aggregate individual IQ.

Read full article via Group Intelligence Correlates With Social Aptitude, Not IQ – Steven Rice – Harvard Business Review.

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Rolestorming – Brainstorming Techniques

This is a cool tool for your team group “think and create “sessions.  Brainstorming that eliminates the vulnerabilities for team members.    For all leadership and management

Excerpt:  About the Tool

Rick Griggs developed the Rolestorming method in the early 1980s. Dr Arthur VanGundy then described it in his 2004 book, “101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem-Solving.”

Griggs developed the technique to help people overcome their inhibitions during group brainstorming sessions. The theory is that if you pretend to be someone else, you’ll feel more comfortable putting ideas forward. This is because taking on another role distances you from owning an idea, which helps you speak up.

You can also come up with additional ideas when you look at a problem from someone else’s perspective.

What’s more, Rolestorming is fun, and it’s great for helping team members feel more comfortable sharing ideas with each other. It also builds confidence, because shy or less assertive people feel empowered to speak up.

Read full article via Rolestorming – Brainstorming Techniques from MindTools.com.

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How to Build Trust in a Virtual Workplace – HBR

I think in most workplaces today, there are the challenges of bringing together inhouse and virtual team members.  This is a good read on how to establish the needed “trust” factor in all team members.

Excerpt:  Teams can’t function well when co-workers don’t trust one another. Building and maintaining trust in the traditional, physical workplace is difficult enough, but the process is even tougher in a virtual environment, where people often have to work with people they haven’t met in person.

Some biologists believe that we are hardwired to distrust everyone except our own family members. Studies have shown, however, that trust can indeed be actively accelerated and maintained on virtual teams even when they have to be assembled on the fly with employees scattered across the globe. According to our research, the following best practices will help:

Read full article via How to Build Trust in a Virtual Workplace – Keith Ferrazzi – Harvard Business Review.

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Structure Your Global Team for Innovation – HBR

Article provides good basic how-to if you have global teams to bring into the innovation mix.

Excerpt:  Many firms struggle to exploit the innovation potential of their global networks. That’s partly because they manage global projects like traditional ones. But single-location projects draw on a reservoir or shared tacit knowledge and trust that global projects lack. To get the most from dispersed innovation, managers need a different playbook.

Here are three ways to set up and manage global innovation for success:

Read full article  via Structure Your Global Team for Innovation – Keeley Wilson and Yves L. Doz – Harvard Business Review.

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Collaboration: Creating High Performance Capabilities

Good takeaway in how-to turn theory into action.   I think the tips and outline would hold true for teams other than just information technology.

Excerpt:  But what is ‘effective’ collaboration? How can we translate it from a simple word in the strategy into actual behavior that delivers results?

The simulation workshops were aimed at translating theory into practice, at demonstrating effective collaboration, and at capturing concrete improvement suggestions to drive forward the IT maturity initiative. The workshops were also aimed at creating buy-in and for identifying possible resistance and barriers to the transformation initiative.

Read full article via Collaboration: Creating high performance capabilities.  From GamingWorks

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Filed under Business Intelligence, IT, Data Management, Metrics, Cloud & Mobile

The Leadership Pipeline Model – Leadership Training

Here is another great leadership training and self training tool from MindTools  —  this model will help you to also internally structure your teams and culture.

Excerpt:  Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel developed the Leadership Pipeline Model and published it in their book, “The Leadership Pipeline.” The model highlights six progressions that managers can go through as they develop their careers.

These progressions are from:
Managing self to managing others.
Managing others to managing managers.
Managing managers to functional manager.
Functional manager to business manager.
Business manager to group manager.
Group manager to enterprise manager.

While organizations can use these progressions to help develop their people, individuals can also use them to grow personally, increasing their knowledge and skills so that they’re ready for their next promotion.

Read full overview of model via The Leadership Pipeline Model – Leadership Training from MindTools.com.

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PwC & Wharton Focus on How CFO’s Can Build Top-Performing Finance Teams

Human resources management accounting and finance teams.

Excerpt:  Top CFOs know they are only as strong as their teams. From treasury to financial planning and analysis, their finance managers have a shared vision of being valued contributors in strategic discussions – adding insight and analysis at critical junctures of decision-making. How can CFOs attract, retain, and motivate finance talent to be much more than number-crunchers?

PwC and faculty at Wharton share insight on how top finance organizations can rise to the challenge.

Read introduction and download full pdf via PwC & Wharton focus on how CFO’s can build top-performing finance teams: PwC.

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Filed under Accounting, Bookkeeping, GAAP, IFRS, Small Business

McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory – Team Management Training

More tools from MindTools this morning.  For all leadership and management — when you know the motivator of each person in your teams, you can be more effective in team management and results.  This article is more today on learning to help you be a better leader — “why we do what we do” and “why we are who we are”  🙂

Excerpt:  Managing a group of people with different personalities is never easy. But if you’re managing or leading a team, it’s essential to know what motivates your people, how they respond to feedback and praise, and what tasks fit them well.

David McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory gives you a way of identifying people’s motivating drivers. This can then help you to give praise and feedback effectively, assign them suitable tasks, and keep them motivated.

Read full article via McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory – Team Management Training from MindTools.com.

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The Team Brain: Beyond Email, Meetings, and Middle Management

Interesting read.  Today’s challenges require a different paradigm to succeed than did businesses in decades past.  There are systems now being used and continually developed to harness and gather intelligence from around the world in our pursuit of bigger and better us — this is in addition to your internal programs and talents.

Excerpt:  In a knowledge economy, natural selection favors organizations that can most effectively harness and coordinate collective intellectual energy and creative capacity. The same evolutionary force that produced sophisticated individual brains for human beings will produce more sophisticated “team brains” for companies.

This is already happening. To achieve their ambitious missions, the world’s greatest companies have been investing in more evolved team brains for years. Apple has the legendary Radar, a closely-guarded internal tool that helps keep knowledge and tasks centralized, indexed, and accessible to teammates. Facebook has Tasks, a collaborative task tracker that Dustin and I had the privilege of designing and prototyping, and other home-grown internal systems that are considered a key part of Facebook’s secret sauce

Read full article via The Team Brain: Beyond Email, Meetings, and Middle Management | TechCrunch.

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Understanding Developmental Needs – Team Management Skills

Another leadership and management tips and how-to from MindTools today.   I like the quote below:  “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?  Not training them and keeping them.”   EXACTLY!

Excerpt: What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?  Not training them and keeping them.”
 – Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker.

While most managers know that training is essential for team success, many don’t take the time to understand team members’ individual needs.

Read full article via Understanding Developmental Needs – Team Management Skills from MindTools.com.

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Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree | Video on TED.com

Recommended listen for all leadership and management.

Excerpt:  Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress.  She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray

Listen and watch video of this Ted Talk via Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree | Video on TED.com#.UCnkG0ASNVJ.email.

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Cognitive Biases Inhibiting Innovation in Top Management Teams

Ahhh ….  “why we do what we do” and “why we are who we are”   🙂    Read and learn — the takeaways included are the what and why.

Excerpt:   The top management team of an organization is arguably the most important team for deciding and implementing innovation strategies. They typically decide which markets to be entered, which markets to be exited, and which new technologies to pursue. But decision making is fraught with biases – errors in judgment that affect the quality of decisions. Sometimes with devastating results. In this post we will see how basic human psychology affects the decision making of top management teams.

Read full article via Cognitive Biases Inhibiting Innovation in Top Management Teams | Innovation Management.

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The ABC Technique – Stress Management – Tool

Here is another tool from Mind Tools to help you as leader and manager and to help your team.

Excerpt:  About the Technique
This approach was originally created by psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis. It was then adapted by Dr. Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and past president of the American Psychological Association. Seligman’s adapted version was published in his 1990 book, “Learned Optimism.”

ABC stands for:
Adversity.
Beliefs.
Consequences.

Read full article via The ABC Technique – Stress Management from MindTools.com.

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Shifting Mindsets — Wharton@Work August 2012

Recommended read for all leadership and management — the how-to teams!

Excerpt: The Goal:
Quickly change the mindset of your team — or yourself — from being “stuck” to finding possibilities and solutions.

Nano Tool:
Our mindsets are determined by the questions we ask. Some questions have the potential to catalyze breakthroughs and inspire transformations. Others lead to stagnation and demoralization. The difference lies in whether you ask Learner Questions or Judger Questions.

Read full article via Shifting Mindsets — Wharton@Work August 2012.

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