Managerial Judo

In life we constantly meet momentum. Early in my career I discovered two essential truths. First, rarely does meeting force with force succeed. Success that is predicated on winning or losing, at least in the management sphere, generally results in a tax. There are times when you have to pay that tax, but, as a general rule, avoiding that tax is the best course of action for all involved. This line of reasoning helped me formulate a concept I call "managerial judo".

Judo is an art and a science. It involves anticipation, positioning, momentum and the judicious use of force to accomplish an objective. (It is a bit like hockey but no sticks and less blood). Managerial judo is all of that but also the ability to take negative energy and turn it into positive momentum. Managerial judo seeks to influence and impact things not through force on force negotiations, but by positioning and creating energy by combining forces and accelerating them to achieve more interesting results.

An example you say? Sure. Here is one: At Sun we have a flexible work place policy. Driving to work and spending two hours at the begining or ending of your day is a tax on your employees. If they are commuting, they aren't working. Conversely, if they are commuting they are expending energy and time to accomplish nothing for your company.

Managerial judo says: Take the expenditure of energy and time that is not currently benefiting me and try and turn that into a positive result. The value prop? Instead of driving for some number of hours to spend all day in you office, why don't you work from home a couple of days (or more) a week and use that extra time to be productive (either for your self or the company)? The risk is that you gain no benefit in actual work but the positives are enormous: Intensely loyal employee base, more productive employees (on average), decreased facilities costs (if you don't have space allocated for your home assigned employees you don't have to pay for it). There are additional benefits as well. People hear about it and really really want a chance to do great work in bunny slippers and bathrobes. Some of the visuals are horrible I assume, but managerial judo does not require that I visualize the result. I take great solace in that.

This is only one example. Taking an employee that isn't doing well in a job that they really don't want and helping them to work on something else in your organization that they REALLY want to is managerial judo. Figuring out how to work the process to produce excellent results is managerial judo. Getting people to do things because they want to do things you want done is managerial judo. Changing your organization just a little bit to gain enormous results is managerial judo. Earlier I talked about force multipliers. Managerial judo is the manifestation of a force multiplier.

Here is another example: Recently we added a customer advocate to my team. She is a blogger of rare talent and has an unusual talent for breaking every piece of software I ever wrote but also for making my software better and building intensely loyal user communities. She is helping to manage my hub. Look for her blog soon. Deirdré is all about managerial judo and I look for some awesome throws!  She has a knack for turning things just a bit and making the end result much better. Welcome Deirdré.
Comments:

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

danmas

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today