Friday, June 10, 2011

How To-do What To-do

Came across this interesting post in HBR titled 'Better Time Management is not the answer'. I find it interesting because of the following points mentioned in the article.

# Management in reality is fragmented and reactive by nature.
# Great bosses dont compartmentalize between handling unexpected problems and doing what they need to do as  managers. Instead they follow the strategy of dividing everything that they do into 3 steps.
  • Prepare to act
  • Act and
  • Check the outcome
The idea mentioned above may sound simple and rightly so and is also very powerful.  Practicing this idea of splitting every task into 3 steps forces managers to *NOT*  act blindly from the perspective of getting it out of their plate; but  actually ensures that the problem is *really* solved or concrete steps or taken towards a solution, by spending that extra moment in preparing to act.

I also believe smart managers take the lesson from the outcome and ensure that the lesson becomes a part of their 'preparation to act' for similar problems that they come across in the future. This over a period of time becomes their knowledge base.

When i think further about this, i think of the above as a subset of Deming Cycle or the PDCA cycle. Not that i want to complicate a simple post, but just to point out that great ideas can be applied even for the everyday tasks that we do.

The complete HBR article can be read here.

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