8 Skills Employees Need that Require Zero Talent

How can a manager be promoted, only for others to discover
that he lacks certain basic, foundation skills? Someone, somewhere dropped an
easy ball that could have been corrected if the company had the right
perspective on how to develop new employees.

There‘s an interesting meme floating around pointing out 10
skills that every employee needs to possess. It adds a zinger: they don‘t
require a drop of talent, implying that no excuses are possible. While the list
wasn‘t developed for Jamaican companies, here is a local version of this
popular meme based on my experience.

#1 – Being On Time

In our environment, this is a huge challenge. Like many
other firms in tropical climates, we allow lateness to run rampant, even in
executive suites. Also, people who are punctual don‘t confront those who
aren’t. Finally, our companies don’t develop a way to teach employees what “on
time” means in their context.

For example, I had a friend who regularly told others she
was “just around the corner” even when she hadn’t yet started the car. In her
mind, she was “on time.” By contrast, I worked with a company in which
“on-time” meant that you arrived early and prepared yourself to start on
the exact, scheduled minute. Yet another organization translated the phrase to
mean “any time before the most important person arrives.”

The point is that your firm must teach its own definition of
“on time” plus all the detailed enabling behaviors, starting with the CEO and
her direct reports.

#2 – Work Ethic/Effort

New employees are often slow to appreciate that for every
corporate skill, there is a ladder of accomplishment. Unfortunately, those who
are unaware, usually occupy the lowest rung. This is no matter of disrespect.
The fact is, if they are taught the existence of higher skills and how to
achieve them, they can become inspired.

Their objective, before they are confirmed as full-time
staff, should be to show they have climbed the rungs of some key skills. For
example, a summer student should be able the demonstrate an unbroken string
of on-time arrivals at work. These may seem to be too easy, but don’t
under-estimate the effort required to learn new behaviors and apply them
consistently.

#3 – Body Language

Have you ever seen a young person slouch in his office
chair, apparently ready to doze off? Newly hired workers just
aren’t taught that their body language influences others. The impact on
customers, colleagues and managers is part of what they will be held
accountable for.

#4 – Energy

Whereas it may not have been cool to be an eager-beaver in
their prior lives, young employees need to learn that the tables are now
turned. How they get work done is vitally important, and they aren‘t “allowed”
to have a bad day that drags down others. Every hour is intended to be an
opportunity for enthusiasm and engagement, and they must learn to manage their
sleep and nutrition to accomplish this goal. Habitually overcoming the
“I-don‘t-feel-like-it” blues is a vital new capacity to develop.

#5 – Attitude/Resilience

This is perhaps a nebulous skill but companies need to go
beyond the level of clichés and define it clearly. Science has shown that
there are concrete steps in techniques like Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy which
can be followed to transform a poor attitude. This will benefit them on the job
and in every part of their lives.

#6 – Passion

With few exceptions, most employees are passionate about at
least one thing in their lives. Companies do a poor job of nurturing these
strong feelings, allowing new hires to slip into the ranks of the disaffected
and disengaged within months. However, developing a love of one’s work is a
skill that can be taught, even though it’s usually left to chance.

#7 – Being Coachable

Jamaican workplaces are rife with stories of new employees
who are convinced that they “already know” everything. When this lack of
self-esteem interferes with the development of a “Beginner’s Mind” it’s time
for an intervention. A good one would interrupt their habits and show them how
to accept coaching, a capacity which does not come naturally to high achievers.

#8 – Being Prepared (To Do Extra)

New hires must learn to over-prepare if they hope to
succeed; they simply have fewer in-company experiences to draw from. Then,
once projects start, they need to be ready to go the additional mile
repeatedly. This behavior is a signal that they are taking their careers
seriously.

Many of these eight practices can be tied to company
standards enforced by your firm’s environment. Your organization must make them
explicit: a strong start to a successful career. This ensures that when
promotions occur, the recipients are fully trained.

Francis Wade is the author of Perfect Time-Based
Productivity, a keynote speaker and a management consultant. Missed a column?
To receive a free download with articles from 2010-2018, send email to
columns@fwconsulting.com 

The audio version of this article can be heard here or at https://Framework.podbean.com/e/8-skills-employees-need-to-have-that-require-zero-talent/

Why Super-Busy People Shouldn’t Take Average Advice

If you manage an extremely high number of tasks, it’s a mistake to accept productivity advice from just about anyone. Instead, you should use special solutions tailored for people like you.

CEO‘s I have worked with share a few distinct characteristics. They tend to be:
– High energy – Sometimes, they get a lot done by simply working harder than others.
– Driven – They don‘t need to be inspired by outsiders: They motivate themselves even under trying circumstances.- Creative – They routinely come up with novel solutions from disparate sources.

While this list may appear to be little more than a bunch of “good things”, these characteristics create a unique personality: an “Ultra-Busy“. She is someone who regularly places more tasks on her plate than she has the capacity to complete. In other words, she sets lofty aspirations which she sometimes can‘t meet.
She is also prone to live an unbalanced life. High blood pressure, overweight and lack of time with loved ones are common problems for her and others in this cohort.
Finally, she fails to account for her uniqueness. Believing that others are just like her, she mistakenly trusts them to deliver at the same level.

Perhaps you recognize these traits in yourself. While they may sound like profound weaknesses, they actually come from a positive place. You see, Ultra-Busys aren’t simply workaholics.

Instead, they love tackling big problems, both for the inherent challenge and for the underlying mission. They aren’t happy unless they use their brains, hearts, minds and souls for a worthy purpose. As such, they give everything they can, often losing track of time as they tackle and resolve one issue after another. These totally immersive moments are high points.

As such, their time is precious, making them fastidious in their choice of productivity habits and aids. Always on the lookout for the latest improvements they need to heed a word of caution: much of the advice floating around isn‘t actually meant for them. Here’s why.

During adolescence, each one of us starts to teach ourselves how to use our memory to manage our personal task-load. Then, as we grow older, we search for better methods to handle more tasks.
A few people – The Ultra-Busys – take this to an extreme. Their love of big results requires them to manage a monumental task-load. Unlike others who see added tasks as a burden, they willingly create lots of them in order to make quicker progress towards their life-goals.

However, most productivity advice doesn‘t account for this difference. Instead, it‘s geared for the average person who simply wants to survive each day using a few handy coping mechanisms.

But if you happen to be an Ultra-Busy, what methods should you use? My research reveals the following.
1. Use a Time-Scarcity Schedule
Most people adopt a calendar exclusively to track appointments, but this technique doesn‘t work for Ultra-Busys. Instead, you must use your calendar to plan all your hours, including sleep, weekends and holidays. In this way, it helps you confront the reality of a 24-hour day, especially when you reach the end of an activity and need to choose which one to do next.
Other folks don‘t experience your level of scarcity and have lots of spare time. You don’t, and a time-budget is your key to keeping yourself on track in every dimension of your life.

2. Use Flexible Tools to Combat Disruptions

As an Ultra-Busy, you deal with unexpected, daily disruptions. This means that you must use advanced task management software in place of either memory or paper tools.

It’s your answer to the problem of not having an administrative assistant who can re-juggle your schedule when the unplanned occurs. Instead, you are required to do everything on your own and the best choice of task manager is one that‘s cloud-based,  using the latest Artificial Intelligence.

3. Embrace Your Agency
If you‘re a real Ultra-Busy, you probably exhaust others around you with your pace and intensity. Some will pity you, thinking that you are a sorry case…a victim of your own success.
However, deep down you know that nothing could be further from the truth. You accept and appreciate your own agency – each task you undertake is one you created freely, from far inside your commitments.
So don‘t be alarmed when others fail to understand. Instead, find the few who are like you and learn from them. You can take the free training I offer to Ultra-Busys at ScheduleU.org – The School for Scheduling Everything.

Your job is to stay true to your calling and its consequence: the incredible time demands you put on yourself. Avoid average advice and uncover the thinking that fits your extraordinary commitments.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20190407/francis-wade-time-schedules-super-busy-manager

Why Some Leaders Hate Long-Term Planning

Why do some executives resist making
long-term plans for their business? The hidden secret is a deep fear of failure
but there’s a way to be confident about the top team’s quality of visionary
thinking.

Vague aspirations to “Become
World-Class” will always drive some portion of your employees crazy. Even if it
happens on a grand scale, the answer isn’t to abandon inspirational goals

Fortunately, the Jamaican
Government’s Vision 2030 avoids these perils by having both clear measurable
targets and a specific end-date. Without these two components, it would be just
be a bunch of wishful thoughts…fairy tales with no basis in reality.

However, most managers
under-estimate the effort to produce such detailed targets. They struggle, but
don’t understand why. One reason relates to a lack of harmony between two
opposing camps: Dreamers and Realists. Your team is best served when a drive
for inspiration (i.e. Dreaming) is balanced by a need to be practical (i.e.
being Realistic). Here are three steps to include in your next planning
meeting.

Being Inspirational through the
Details

If you have noticed that most of
your employees have lost the zest for Dreamer-led Rah-Rah / “Being Number One”
chest-beating, you may ask: “Why did it become passe?” In short, it doesn’t do
well in today‘s world where authenticity is the main currency.

They see such lofty goals as
inauthentic because they lack specific, measurable characteristics. As a
result, these targets lack credibility, reducing them to having no more
significance than an idle knock in table tennis, or a meaningless game of
solitaire played just to kill time.

Today, your employees expect real
engagement which must be linked to clear performance feedback which is
objectively measured. Such black and white targets tell them whether they have
won or lost, not only individually, but on a corporate scale.

In the case of Vision 2030 there
was, I imagine, a long hard distance to go from becoming “the place of choice
to live, work, raise families and do business” to defining multiple, explicit
targets for specific sectors. It’s exactly the tough task many executive teams
are unwilling to do. Instead, they try to take lazy shortcuts. For example, it’s
popular to get each department to come up with its own goals, then ask a clerk
to pull them together in a final document.

At first blush, this approach may
seem logical, or efficient. However, the end-product ends up being little more
than a grab-bag of bits and pieces. This Frankenstein plan is exactly what
Realists fear the most because the lack of practical coherence dooms it to
failure.

Allowing Brutal Reality to Trim
Dreams

Some Realists have such strong
feelings that they block or boycott planning retreats altogether. Instead, they
argue that today is the best guide to tomorrow and advocate no more than
annual budgeting. Implicit in this approach is the assumption that competitive
advantage was decided in the past, and won’t change.

This dangerous idea is usually not
spoken out aloud…until it’s too late. Like Cable and Wireless of old, they deny
the arrival of an impending Digicel, thereby facilitating their
competition’s success.

Unfortunately, most executive teams
never resolve the difficult tension between Dreamers and Realists, preferring
to allow one side to “win”.

The way out of this zero-sum game is
to balance the time devoted to each camp during your next strategic planning
retreat. When you create your agenda, build this in: ask everyone to Dream,
then stop. Pause, and then provoke participants to trim the vision by making it
Real. In other words, allow each approach to run its full course before switching
from one to the other. The fact is, both are important, but they are impossible
to reconcile simultaneously in a workshop setting.

Time and Discipline to Balance Both
Activities

Most executives don’t appreciate
this delicate balance. Instead, if you belong to one group, you are
likely to point fingers at the other, complaining that
time spent in their preferred zone is wasted. As a result,
I often find myself in the middle, arguing for a balance. This means pointing
out the pitfalls of “short” retreats. I explain why we no longer offer them:
they inevitably favor one camp over the other, producing a weak strategy which
is neither rigorous nor durable.

In other words, trying to focus
exclusively on Dreamers or Realists defeats the purpose. The point of such sessions
is to make the most difficult decisions regarding the future of the company.
Bringing both camps together is just one of the critical end-products.

Teams who realize this
fact produce miracles: building inspiring long-term plans based on
realistic short-term commitments. While it’s a hard result to generate in a
mixed group, this balanced approach is the best way to craft sustainable
competitive advantage.

Just released – a compilation of newspaper articles

compilation of articles 3dLast week I released a brand new compilation of articles written for the Jamaica Gleaner and Trinidad Newsday. It includes links to my columns in these two newspapers for the past three years, plus a few audio / video excerpts from CaribHR.Radio and TVJ.

It’s a good way to link with articles written on the topics of productivity, strategy and culture – many of them have a strong HR angle.

Free copies are available for download at the following link: http://free.fwconsulting.com.

 

On Motivation

1.    What do they want now?
2.    Why aren’t they ever satisfied?
3.    Don’t they care about anything except money?

istock_relief-woman
These questions are heard often enough in industry.   They all – and their many variations – have a common root in the desire to understand what causes people to behave as they do while at work.   They all represent different ways of asking the same timing – what motivates people?

Naturally, this fundamental question stems not from an academic desire to understand the psychology of people at work, but from an urgent need to deal with industrial problems – which tend increasingly to be defined in human terms. Traditional assumptions about what men want from work seem, at best, to have provided temporary solutions, and at worst to have been completely wrong. So, management is having to re-examine its ideas about people at work. Fortunately there is a growing body of knowledge, labelled behavioural science, which is providing useful insights. Because the science is young, and its data probabilistic, management cannot expect to find a single answer to its question, or even a recipe for success. The answer, in the sense of a principle which will invariably apply at all levels and in all situations, will almost certainly never be found. The human animal’s capacity for excepting himself from rules and principles of behaviour defined by other humans is one of his more noteworthy characteristics. The most we can hope for is a fuller understanding of human motivation, a better ability to diagnose and a greater probability that our efforts to motivate will succeed.

Motivation is a generic term which implies three things: need, the object or goal to satisfy that need, and the behaviour required to achieve the goal. In the employment situation, management controls some of the goals (money, security, status, etc.) sought by the employee, and defines the behaviour (in terms of job performance) that is expected of the employee if he is to achieve these goals. But the employee is almost invariably striving for satisfaction of more than one need at a time, and his behaviour is directed to providing maximum possible satisfaction of all his needs. For example, if an employee restricts output, and thereby his take-home pay, it is often because exceeding what his work mates judge to be a fair day’s work could lead to his expulsion from their group – which would thwart his social needs. In effect, the loss of friendship is too high a price to pay for the extra money. So performance is kept at a level which allows him to make as much money as possible without exceeding the norms set by the group. This maximisation process occurs, both consciously and subconsciously, for the whole complex of needs that are inseparable from the individual.
If there is a problem about motivating employees, it is probably for one of three reasons. The reward may not be relevant to the employee’s paramount needs, the reward may not be worth the expected behaviour, or the employee may be expected to behave in ways which prevent the adequate satisfaction of other needs. Thus, in order to motivate a man it is essential to create a situation, or to provide incentives, which will allow him to maximise the satisfaction of, not one or a few, but all of his needs. The first step is obviously to understand the kinds of needs he has.

Probably the most widely accepted theory of human needs is that of Abraham Maslow, who developed a hierarchical structure. Essentially, Maslow says that the human being is not born with a complete set of needs. Like any other animal, man is dominated at birth by the need to survive. He must eat, breathe, drink, rest and defecate. Until these needs are relatively well met, and no longer require all a man’s energies, the second and higher order of needs, the safety needs, assume no importance. Safety needs include security and order in the environment as well as physical safety. The young child who has just learned to speak spends a great deal of his time asking questions (who? what? how? why? when? and where?), in an attempt – not so much to understand as to categorise and give structure to the environment around him. If he is told that the moon is a lump of green cheese hanging in space, that is a sufficient and satisfactory answer for his purposes, and will probably do until he decides to become an astronaut.

Once the child feels safe, and perceives a coherent structure in his environment, the third, and again higher, level of need will begin to preoccupy him. This is the need for love and ‘belongingness’ – for intense and affectionate relationships with other individuals and for membership of groups whose values and attitudes he can share. At first a group of friends or a school, later teams and societies as well, and perhaps ultimately a political party, a church, a union or a company; will help meet this need. Once it is being satisfied the esteem needs begin to emerge and increase the appetite for success and for self Then the individual often gives up the comfortable camouflage of membership; he determines what his own values; attitudes and interests are, and may pursue them even when they bring him into conflict with the group. When survival is assured, when the world begins to ‘make sense’, when love and comradeship have been found; and he is conscious of his own worth, the individual is free to explore his potential and to exercise his capabilities. The need to ‘self-actualise’ is the most mature need of all.. It is this need that gives man his dignity.
Self Actualisation Desire for Self-fulfilment Esteem Need Success, Self-respect Belongingness and Love Needs Affection, Identification Safety Needs Security, Order Physiological Needs Hunger, Thirst

When all of these needs are developed, the hierarchy, as such, breaks down. The needs are simply there, and we spend energy differently from moment to moment in an attempt to satisfy all or any one of them. But the hierarchy nevertheless reasserts itself from time to time, so that the individual will forsake attempts to satisfy higher needs until a lower need is no longer at risk. Thus it would be little use, for example, trying to sell crafts men the merits of a productivity bargain in terms of opportunities for achievement and advancement if, at the same time, it carried with it the threat of redundancy. They would be deaf to management’s arguments and blind to any opportunity for achievement until assured of the security of their jobs. This may seem obvious, but it is alarming how frequently industrial disputes are prolonged and embittered because the two sides are arguing about entirely different need levels.

The most important point, however, is that the normal adult human being is subject to all five levels of need. He cannot leave three at home and take two to work. He goes to work with them all and, given the opportunity, will attempt to satisfy them all either at work or through work. So if a manager wants to motivate his employees, he must be prepared to acknowledge the existence of all five levels.
The best understanding of how these needs operate in a work setting is provided by Frederick Herzberg. His early research attempted to analyse the factors which give rise to satisfying and dissatisfying experiences at work. Analysis of thousands of events, at all levels of the job hierarchy, produced a remarkably consistent and surprising result. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction appear to arise from two quite different roots. We had always assumed, as the semantics of the culture had taught us, that satisfaction and dissatisfaction were opposites – that the presence or absence of any factor was capable of producing the whole range of feelings.

We assumed that if a man was paid more money he would be satisfied, that if he was not he would be dissatisfied. The research results suggested that this is not necessarily so. The upper part of the diagram shows the percentage frequency with which a number of factors (achievement, conditions, salary, etc.) occurred when the satisfactions and dissatisfactions of those taking part in the study were summarised. Two clusters of factors emerged. Those which contributed primarily to job satisfaction were all things inherent in the task itself, they were part of the job content.

The other cluster of factors usually associated with dissatisfaction, were all part of the environment in which the job was done, its context. The lower part shows the same date combined to reveal the relationship of all the content factors and all the context factors to satisfying and dissatisfying events. Thus it appeared that 81% of the satisfying events were related to content factors and only 19% to the context – When it came to the dissatisfying events the inverse was true: 69% were related to job context factors and only 31% to content factors.

It would seem, therefore, that improvement in the job context serves primarily to alleviate continued dissatisfaction and contribute only minimally to job satisfaction. Because context factors are environment and essentially preventative, Herzberg termed them the ‘hygiene’ factors, on the medical analogy. Further research, and indeed the whole history of industrial relations, suggests another interesting characteristic: hygiene factors seem to require replenishment at regular intervals if dissatisfaction is to be allayed continuously. People will continue to demand periodic rises, even though they have not increased their output. We are no more likely to find the wage increment or fringe benefit that will keep employees from feeling a need for more, than we are to find the food which will relieve us of ever having to eat again.

Similarly, content factors play a major role in generating. satisfaction, and when they are present in a job its performance tends to be improved. For this reason Herzberg has called these factors ‘motivators’. In the strictest sense, anything which gives impetus to behaviour is a motivator and a kick up the backside would qualify according to this definition; it would be unlikely though, to meet Herzberg’s additional requirement of increased satisfaction. But management’s use of the term, like Herzberg’s, normally implies an improvement in both attitude and performance.
Putting Herzberg and Maslow together, it is clear that the hygiene factors are the industrial expression of the first three levels of the need hierarchy, and the motivators are the upper two. The real importance of Herzberg’s research is not that it demonstrates the existence of all five levels of need in a work situation, but that it provides insight into how they operate, and where changes have to be made if we are effectively to tap the resources of employees.

Traditional solutions – improving working conditions, increasing financial incentives or providing greater job security – are important if we are to keep employees from being dissatisfied and doing less than a ‘fair day’s work’. But it must be remembered that this is all that they are likely to achieve. To get extra effort and commitment we have to be prepared to consider what people do as well as how we treat them.

In the past, very little formal attention was paid to motivators as a means of influencing employees’ performance and attitudes. This is perhaps because the absence of motivators in a job does not produce complaint – only apathy and lack of interest and initiative. These are all too easily attributable to the ‘personality’ of the employee, and all too frequently result in his being written off as lazy or irresponsible. But it is very difficult to behave responsibly if you do not have any responsibility, or to know the satisfaction of achievement if you are given no opportunity to fail. If managers want more than just a fair day’s work, if they want workers’ commitment, enthusiasm and initial they must be prepared to pass on responsibility, and assume that it will be accepted responsibly.

Seeking to enrich people’s work, to improve job satisfaction by deliberately building into the job greater scope for personal achievement and recognition, and more opportunity for individual advancement, certainly calls for conscious effort. But studies in both the US and the UK have demonstrated that the effort can pay worthwhile dividends. A typical example is illustrated by a study involving sales representatives and carried out in this country.

The company had long held a major share of the domestic market, but its position was increasingly threatened by competition. Its market share had been declining for a number of years, and although the decline had levelled off results remained static and showed no sign of improvement. Examination of the product range suggested that Its products were fully competitive in price and quality; the critical factor appeared to be sales representative effort. An attitude survey suggested that the men were satisfied with their jobs and although they were not paid on a commission basis their conditions of employment were known to compare well with the average for the industry. Since regaining lost ground depended on a sustained extra effort from a group of people already comparatively well treated and reasonably satisfied, it seemed an ideal opportunity to find out if the incentive for the extra effort could be found in the work itself.

A programme of change was designed with the aid of the sales management, using brain-storming techniques, and using Herzberg’s framework as a model. One result of this was that salesmen were no longer required to submit a written report on every call. They were asked simply to pass on information as appropriate, or request action when they thought it was called for. Calling frequencies were no longer determined in conjunction with the are sales manager. This was left entirely to the salesmen themselves, and they kept the only records for purposes such as staff reviews. They were also able to request technical service directly from their technical counterparts – and the paperwork was cleared after the event.

The salesmen were authorised to make settlements up to £100 following complaints about product performance if, in their opinion, there was no possibility that consequential inability would be prejudiced. They were also armed with authority to deal with excess stock held by customers, in whatever way they thought most appropriate, with no upper limit on sales value. They were given price discretion on nearly the whole of the product range – with a lower limit often below any price previously quoted by the company. Each of the changes was designed to make the salesmen’s ‘s job a more complete one. It represented an effort to shift commercial judgement from headquarters to the representative on the spot, to make him someone the customer could really do business with.

To determine the effectiveness of the changes, it was necessary to apply them to only a representative sample of the sales force. This allowed comparison of the sample’s performance with that of a similar group selling the same products to the same trades, who acted as control group. The changes were introduced during December 1967, and the trial period ran from the beginning of January to the end of September 1968. The critical measure of performance was sales turnover checked by gross margin.

During the trial period the experimental group improved its performance by almost 19% a gain of over £12,000 in sales value, while the control group’s sales declined by 5%. The equivalent change for both groups in the previous year had been a decline of 3%. All quotations other than at list price were reported by the representatives and it was possible to analyse the gross margins achieved by both groups. The analysis showed the gross margin on the experimental group’s sales to be proportionately as high, if not higher, than the control group’s. The experimental group had apparently used its price discretion to negotiate greater volume, and had not increased turnover at the expense of profit. A repeat of the attitude survey showed that the experimental group’s satisfaction was significantly greater, in contrast to the control group’s whose attitudes remained largely unchanged.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the experiment, in the sales manager’s view, was that the salesmen, once they possessed real negotiating authority, began finding that price alone did not make a sale. Having failed on occasion to sell products even at a reduced price, they were forced to re-examine and improve their product understanding and selling strategy. Because this occurred on their own initiative, the satisfaction of succeeding was entirely their own.

Such experiments, with or without controls, may be appropriate to the solution of specific problems. It is more difficult to introduce this kind of change in the company as a whole. Attempts to do so are likely to be as varied as the companies that make them, but one formula being adopted more and more frequently is that of management by objectives. Essentially, the system involves each unit in the company in setting its particular objectives within the boundaries of an overall company objective. When the objectives are agreed the key tasks necessary to their achievement are identified, and departments and individuals set their own performance targets consistent with their key tasks. To describe the approach so simply is, of course, to do it an injustice, because the description cannot convey the underlying philosophy.

Even as described here, Management By Objectives is an excellent communications device for conveying the company’s direction and purpose, and the contribution required from each of its parts. The trouble is that if the philosophy is misunderstood it becomes a device for telling people what they must achieve without regard to circumstances, and thus easily degenerates into management by results.

But applied with an understanding of human needs, including the need to achieve, Management By Objectives is potentially one of the best vehicles for inaugurating the kind of change advocated here. It defines, with the help of the individual himself, what kind of achievement is valued and is possible, and it ensures that both the man and his manager examine the discretion and resources necessary to realise that achievement. Review sessions then become concerned less with abstract human characteristics and personality traits than with providing a constructive feed-back on past performance and a definition of future tasks. Management By Objectives continually requires a manager to deal with a man through the medium of his task, and to ask again and again if it is sufficient for the man and the company.

In the end, top management is only likely to achieve the results it wants from employees if it ensures that all intermediate managers have as full an understanding of human motivation as possible, and possess the discretion and incentive to use that understanding

Marcia Goodridge
[email_link]