How much do you know about past and current management trends

Let’s find out! Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to match each management trend with the date and person it’s most associated with.

For example, number 1, Scientific Management, was kicked off in 1911 by Frederick Winslow Taylor, so on you’d write 1–a on a piece of paper. Who do you associate Servant leadership with? Write the letter of that date and person beside number 2. And so on.

Good luck. Answers next week.

Management trend                                    Date and person most associated with it

1.  Scientific management                             a. 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor

2.  Servant leadership                                    b. 1964, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton

3.  The balanced scorecard                           c. 1990, Michael Hammer

4.  Beaucratic management
and hierarchies theory                               d. 1924, Elton Mayo

5.  Business process re-engineering              e. 1964, Victor Vroom

6.  Big data analytics                                      f. 1989, Jan Carlzon

7.  Australia industrialises                               g. 1945, Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop

8.  Power with, not power over                       h. 1943, Abraham Maslow

9.  Emotional Intelligence                                i. 1920s, Mary Parker Follett

10. The hierarchy of needs                              j. 1978, James McGregor Burns

11. Management as a profession                    k. 1959, Frederick Herzberg

12. The Hawthorne experiments                      l. 1970, Robert Greenleaf

13. Total Quality Control                                  m. 1946, Peter Drucker

14. Moments of truth                                       n.  1960, Douglas McGregor

15. Action Centred Leadership                        o. 1992, Robert Kaplan and David Norton

16. Hygiene factors and Motivators                  p. 1960s, Paul Hersey and Kenneth

17. Expectancy theory of motivation                 q. 1922, Max Weber

18. Empathic leadership                                    r. 1958, Robert Tannenbaum and
Warren Schmidt

19. Transformational leadership                         s. 1973, John Adair

20. The continuum of leadership styles              t. 1950s W Edwards Deming and others

21. Management Grid                                        u.  2011, lots of really smart people

22. Theory X, Theory Y                                       v. 1920s, William Lawrence Ballieu and                                                                                the Collins House Group

23. Task-readiness theory                                  w. 1995, Daniel Goleman


Ten tips to help teams thrive and keep thriving

Here are 10 ways to help your team grow into a highly productive, high-performing team. These tips can also get a team that’s in a slump back on track.

  1. Balance team membership with a range of backgrounds, experience, personalities and skills, and make the most of its diversity.
  2. Communicate: for example, hold monthly update meetings about the organisation’s activities and successes, customers, and new initiatives and keep the team abreast of events that will affect them. Nothing beats a steady flow of information.
  3. Invite participation in decisions that affect the team; for example, involve your team in deciding what equipment and materials it needs and the best way to complete a job.
  4. Keep innovating and improving the way you work. People get bored when they’re stuck in ruts and frustrated when hassles, bottlenecks and extra, unnecessary steps that make their jobs harder aren’t fixed. Plus, when you don’t keep improving, you end up sliding backwards.
  5. Publicise the team’s successes. Make sure the rest of the organisation hears about how well your team is doing.
  6. Revisit the team purpose and the way you all work together at least once every two years, depending on the turnover of team members. The team purpose may change in the light of changing organisational priorities and even when it doesn’t change, the review serves as a useful reminder. Set new goals to challenge the team so that members don’t become stale, and periodically review and update the team’s process guidelines–how we work together.
  7. Reward extra effort. When team members go ‘beyond the call of duty’ and put in extra time and effort, or achieve something special, make sure they benefit in some special way.
  8. Rotate assignments. When there’s a chance that people’s tasks could become monotonous once mastered, cross-train team members by rotating tasks to keep interest and morale high.
  9. Support the team. Clearly define the team’s goals and other expectations (keep your workspace tidy; offer a helping hand when your work is under control; and so on). Recognise and celebrate team success. Make sure team members have ways to evaluate the team’s progress in both its task achievement and they way they’re working together.
  10. Train team members. Involve the team in deciding their own training needs and how best to train new team members.

Managing after redundancies

Yet another of my friends has been made redundant, this one after 21 years in her role as a senior manager in a hospital. The 1990s may be known for redundancies but they’re still a common feature of the organisational landscape.

Morale certainly takes a hit after even one redundancy, never mind a series of sad goodbyes. And you’re no doubt familiar with the ‘survivor syndrome’, the feelings of ‘Gosh, I’m glad it wasn’t me’ followed by guilt that you’ve still got a job and someone you liked and respected hasn’t. This is often followed by resentment and feeling taken advantage of among those who have picked up the extra workload of their recently departed colleague(s).

So how do you manage those left behind, especially when they may well be feeling unsettled in their own positions and less trusting of and loyal toward the organisation itself?

Provided redundancies aren’t an exercise in shifting deck chairs on the Titanic (in which case, polish up your CV) but to meet a genuine business need, make sure people understand that ‘redundancy’ means the elimination of a job due to outsourcing or restructuring and it is not personal or related to performance. (When the redundancy is due to outsourcing, your job is probably even harder because of the additional emotions that bubble up as a result.)

Acknowledge and respond to people’s feelings of guilt, shock, resentment and loss of confidence in the organisation and in their own security. Answer their questions as honestly and straightforwardly as you can. Explain the bigger picture and how the redundancy was necessary in order to strengthen the business. People need to understand the context.

Paint a clear picture of the future and the important roles those left behind have in that future. Then people can think, ‘Yes, this has been bad news. But at least it’s going to help us build the future we need’. When that isn’t clear, you’re left with unsettled, unhappy people and sinking productivity.

Involve people in working out how work can best be done in the absence of their former colleague(s) and how you can all move forward together. Keep an eye out for signs of stress and dissatisfaction such as increased absenteeism or people ‘going through the motions’ and take them as a sign you need to communicate more; listen to what people are thinking and keep showing the way forward (without making promises you can’t keep and without ‘spin’). The less you communicate, the more the rumour mill is going to flourish and its content won’t be nice.

Work at strengthening your own trustworthiness in the eyes of your team, too, because trust in ‘management’ in general has probably dropped and you need the trust of your team for them to work at their best and continue produce a valuable product or service.


After learning, grab a coffee and take a nap

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

Dr Seuss

Busy hands might be happy hands but the busier your mind, the less you can learn.

Sleeping after learning helps you remember what you’ve learned by encouraging your brain cells to make connections, which makes what you’ve learned ‘stick’. It isn’t just because moving straight onto something else after learning doesn’t give you a chance to consolidate what you’ve learned; it’s also because your brain physically grows connections between brain cells, forming new neural circuits, and that’s really what learning anything–a physical or a mental skill–is all about. Even as little as six minutes of sleep after learning can prevent your learning memories from breaking down and help you retain those new brain circuits (although a night’s sleep is better).

If you can’t bring yourself to study before bed or take a nano-nap in the office, try a short, 10-minute break. Just pausing after reading something you need to remember can make the material ‘stick’ by a substantial margin.

And where does the coffee come in, I hear you wonder–especially when most people think caffeine keeps them awake. Well, contrary to popular belief, there is apparently no correlation between coffee and insomnia. Coffee, more more precisely, the caffeine in coffee, helps put information you’ve learned into your long-term memory. A strong cup of instant coffee will do the trick when you don’t have the time or the inclination to brew up.

Or, put the two together. When you’re tired, grab a coffee and take a short (5 to 15 minute) nap. And, while we’re talking about coffee, although it doesn’t help you think, coffee is good for when you need to plod through boring, routine work. (Of course, too much coffee isn’t good for anyone and too much is an individual dose, dependent on your genes and how much coffee you’re used to.)