Effective Management: Should You Break the Rules?

Sections of this topic

    Stop at the red and go on the green. Wait your turn. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Certain timeless rules are better obeyed than broken. But are there certain rules that may need to be broken?

    In today’s constantly changing business world, many of the rules that guided previous generations of managers may no longer apply, or at least, be as relevant.

    “If you’re not breaking rules on a regular basis, your customers and markets are going to somebody else. So look, listen and change.”

    So said a business client during a recent staff retreat. She wanted everyone to know that the task of managers and supervisors can no longer be just seeing that things get done in a timely manner. They have to do more than that!

    Rather, effective managers today must be committed to do new things and do routine things in new ways. It comes down to breaking some long standing rules of managing people and organizations. Here are some examples.

    Old rule:Strive to maintain the status quo, but react quickly when change happens.
    New rule: Don’t wait for change to hit you. Anticipate it, plan for it, and make it happen on your terms.

    Old rule: Management’s job is to make decisions.
    New rule: Management’s job is to facilitate decisions made by those closest to the customer or the situation.

    Old rule: Avoid conflict at all cost. People can’t handle it.
    New rule: Create conditions that get people to grapple with different perspectives which will lead to better solutions and results.

    Old rule: Tell employees what to do, when to do it and how to do it.
    New rule: Give employees the resources and support they need. Then stand back and let them do their jobs.

    Management Success Tip:

    Letting go of rules that have served you well can be difficult, but holding on to them can be fatal. Don’t allow yourself or your people to get comfortable with the status quo. Don’t get stuck thinking that what’s made us successful so far will continue to make us successful in the future.

    Are there some rules that need to be broken or at least modified? Which ones? Let me know what you think.

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?