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24 August, 2015

Management by Walking Around (MBWA): The 1 Thing You Must do to Make it Work

You might recall that last week we talked about how effective leaders have a system for noticing what their people are doing, which enables them to manage their people for high performance. It enables them to notice when people are on track so they can provide positive reinforcement. It enables them to notice where people are off track so they can provide corrective feedback, and it enables them to provide support when they discover their people are struggling with particular issues. Some people call this process ‘management by wandering around’, but my term for it is ‘doing laps’.

This week’s tip is that your ‘laps’ must be random.

There is good reason for this – if you turn up at the same time everyday, people are soon going to expect you to turn up at that time. When you turn up they’re going to be on task and focused on what needs to get done. And if that happens, you miss what’s really going on throughout the day, and you miss the opportunity to effectively manage the performance of your team.

So, your laps must be spontaneous, they must be randomised.

Let me give you a couple of tips about how you might go about doing this. For myself – going to the printer is my trigger for doing a lap. I know I’m going to print something several times a day, but I don’t know when I’m going to. I put this system in place everyday, but it’s totally randomised. Another good trigger example is the one I gave you last week – every time the high-performing manager got out of his chair he would go looking for good things. Of course, he didn’t know when he was going to get of his chair, all he knew was that several times a day he was going to do so. So he had a system, but it was random.

And that’s what I’m going to encourage you to do – randomise when you do your laps every day.

We’re going to explore this a little further next week – we’re going to take a look at where you should put most of your focus when you’re doing a lap – on your low performers, your core performers, or on your high performers.

But until then, have a superb week!

 

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