How to disrupt the business as usual culture

Photo by Torley / CC BY-SA 2.0

Whether you are a new manager or a veteran executive, effective delegation consistently increases your ability to get things done through others. You can start the dynamics of a new performance culture as a new manager or make this change as an existing manager. The key to building a performance culture through using advanced delegation skills and techniques is simple: Focus on your Employees. Most managers will say they do focus on their employees but the reality is that they focus on themselves or the demands of their job. It is somewhat expected that the manager tries to accommodate their needs or the demands of senior management but it does not produce great teams that execute greatly.

3 Steps to Effective Execution culture for managers

Let’s think carefully about three factors:

  1. It does not matter how well laid out your strategies and objectives are for the business unit if the team is not prepared to carry out the responsibility of execution.
  2. It does not matter to the unit’s performance that people are paid to do the work or expected to do the work according to predetermined plans.
  3. It does not matter how hard the manager works or expects the business unit to work to achieve the expectations.
These things are not difference makers if the manager does not focus on her or his people.  If the manager really spends significant time focusing on the individuals on the team, helping them to become top notch, then yes, strategies, compensation and hard work will pay off.  If cutting costs to improve the short term bottom line because that is the end all be all, or if creating new products or services get ahead of what the customer needs and the business unit’s personnel are ignored, productivity and growth languish. So if you want to become a top flight manager, respected for building and managing a business unit that is outstanding at executing assignments and projects that make a difference…become a disruptive manager.  The manager must disrupt the status quo, disrupt the business as usual environment.  Disrupt the focus on the wrong things.  Here are the questions that form the starting point of building a winning, high-performance business unit:
  • Managers need to ask themselves,” what are the main points of pain and disappointment in my performance and that of the my supervisor’s and team?
  • What are the points of pain and struggle among the business unit and what can I help improve for the people on my team?
  • Where have the breakdowns been in executing assignments and what can I do about helping to fix them?
  • Am I allowing less than stellar performance and execution of assignments or accepting less than each person’s absolute best efforts?

The responsibility to lead people well

The greatest responsibility a manager faces is leading people well and the greatest joy is succeeding at it.
A manager who truly wants to be great and build a career around successful management of business units…getting things done through a motivated and high-performance team… must be willing to be disruptive of everything.  In the end, it is all about execution. At the start, it is all about focusing on your people and being disruptive of what is happening today. So how does the motivated manager get started?
First, you candidly answer the four questions above and really think about the right answers. Make an extensive list of everything even if it hurts to admit shortcomings.  The manager simply can not make this assessment and begin the journey of disruption on the way to greatness relying only on their own council. Take your assessment to someone in the organization who has been successful and is trustworthy.  If the manager can’t find that person inside the organization, they can go outside.  Bounce your assessment off them.  Ask them for ideas and suggestions.  Ask for permission to come back along the way to update them on progress and challenges.  You can not do this alone.  Very few managers are that good.
Second, and here is the disruptive bomb shell, share the assessment with your team.  Do this with the whole team and then circle back to each individual after the team discussion.  People will be more forthcoming one-on-one in most cases.  Here is one approach to consider at the team meeting.
“I have been giving a lot of thought to how we can become a great business unit and how I can help each of you to contribute to that goal.  I do not believe we are there today.  I do not believe we can get there expecting better results but doing the same things we have always done. I do believe our team has the makings of becoming the best business unit in our organization, our industry and among our competitors.  I do believe that participating on a team that is becoming the very best provides the best opportunity for our individual success.  Here is my assessment of my needs to get better and your needs to get better.  Once we review them, I sincerely want everyone’s candid ideas, opinions and suggestions.”

Managers must be transparent with their team

To be disruptive for success, the manager must put themselves out there. They must be willing to tell their team they are willing to take the risks associated with change and development.  The manager must convince people that they are willing to focus on each individuals  their growth, their development, their issues and their success.  The manager must disrupt the status quo by absolutely not allowing any further mediocre performance and results.  This applies to the manager and to each individual on the team.  They must take into account the best ideas and suggestions from the team.  They must challenge, challenge, challenge every action, every thought every “we’ve always done it this way.”  They must lead by example.  They must be willing to break a few rules or policies if they are not contributing to performance.
In the end, this constructive disruption is the only way to dynamically change performance. The manger must “light themselves on fire.”  Demonstrate by every behavior that they are totally motivated and zealously committed to the growth and development of each individual under their care.  People want this type of leader.  They will follow this type of manager,  they will accept disruptive “tough love” if, and only if, they believe the manager relentlessly believes.  How could a anyone who wants to be great manage act any other way.  Look closely through the eyes of your employees…what can of a leader do they see now and what kind of a leader would they want to see?”

Additional Skills for Disruptive Management

Learn to be disruptive - Ted Talk


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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