Managing People: What are we going to do about Joe? #2

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

Dr. Lisa: “That’s true. In almost all of our client companies, when we started working with them, the management team was dysfunctional. And a dysfunctional management team will inhibit or block almost every kind of improvement. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

Brad: “What’s the way out? Is there a solution?”

Dr. Lisa: “Dr. Goldratt suggests that when the policies, procedures, and measures that drive behavior aren’t appropriate—and they never are when a company is managed conventionally—then people are captured in conflicts for which there is no good solution. For example, you see this with managers of different organizational silos having different goals and measures. So, production is almost always at odds with sales. The organization ends up continually renegotiating unhappy compromises.”

Brad: “Of course, TOC is holistic. One of the first steps for improvement is to change the measures. There are operational measures that help guide silos to do what is good for the company as a whole. Anyone that has read The Goal was introduced to them, but rarely has anyone implemented them. Next, we align the organization with the company’s strategy and tactics. Then the silos are not at odds with each other.”

Dr. Lisa: “TOC also has the Thinking Processes for dealing with all kinds of issues, including thorny issues between people. The ‘Management Skills’ were developed just for that. There are five Management Skills workshops dealing with different topics:
1. Day-to-Day Conflicts,
2. Half-Baked Solutions,
3. Chronic Conflicts,
4. The Lieutenant’s Dilemma (about whether to delegate or just do it yourself), and
5. Reaching an Ambitious Target.
I’d recommend these to the leader of any management team. Developing skills for dealing with these issues will go a long way to reducing conflict, and improving communication.”

…to be continued.

Here’s to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

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