Are You an Agile Manager?
Everything that you do as a manger equates to a deposit or a withdrawal for the people who directly report to you. If you don’t have enough deposits to cover a withdrawal that you might need to make, then you won’t have the ability to empower anyone to do anything! Whether it’s a simple one-on-one coffee appointment where you check-in with someone or it’s a change in the office environment that allows more personal expression, you’ve got to be agile as a manger and adapt to changing circumstances.
Here are some other ways that you can be more agile as a manger too:
Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario
The idea that you should plan for the worst while hoping for the best is a good strategy to have. Why? Because it allows you to be agile should the worst thing you can imagine while on the job happens. You’ve planned out the problem already and can now generate an effective response to it. If the worst case scenario doesn’t happen, you’ve still planned out a strategy that will effectively deal with whatever has happened so that you can be successful as an outcome.
Small Variations Can Make a Big Impact
About 5 years ago, I was hired to be an agile manager for a team of people that needed some help. In looking at the processes of the team, there was one simple change I discovered that could be made in terms of inputting one type of work. That one minor variation in their work duties saved the team over $100,000 in lost production.
You don’t have to make big changes to make a big impact. American Airlines saved $100,000 by taking just one olive off of their in-flight salad. Don’t look to revolutionize your team as a manager – look to evolve instead. That way people will buy into the change because they can see the results.
Always Offer Feedback!
Managers are traditionally famous for failing to give any sort of feedback at all. Even if the annual review needs to be completed, the average manager will postpone that feedback for as long as possible. Agile managers offer immediate feedback because this allows their team to immediately react, adapt, and compensate to various situations. This makes a team more productive, makes a manager happier, and ultimately creates a better result.
Realize That Everything Tends To Get Bigger
St. Bernard puppies are extremely cut when they are little. As they learn and age, however, they begin to grow… and grow… and grow until they become a 200 pound dog that loves to shed everywhere and slobber everything. At work, agile managers must realize that everything will get bigger as it ages and grows. It is their responsibility to make sure costs are limited, sales are maximized, and misery to negated before it can begin to fester.
Being an agile manager ultimately means being proactive with the members of your team. Use this advice the next time you’re looking to improve your team’s performance and see how quickly you can maximize what your people have to offer!