Replying to LO28387 --
In another answer to your message, I mentioned that many managers cannot
even conceive of another paradigm different from the old
diective/authoritarian one. I managed several laboratories in a defence
area for many years. The first thing I did was collate all the old
'laboratory notices' into a policy manual. Also I reviewed all
'laboratory methods' for suitability and made a policy statement that no
chemical analysis etc. would be done without appropriate method
documentation (i.e. no 'ad hoc' work). What I ended up with was
effectively an ISOI9000 management manual, which included safety,
environment and security requirements. In short most 'operational risks'
This 'administrative control' requires workers 'to do the right thing'.
What is different, is the way you manage when you have your policies and
procedures documented. I found my perceptions of what my staff 'should
know' changed, and I managed by asking questions rather than giving
directives. The first question you ask when a section leader approaches
with a problem is: 'have you looked in the management manual, and have you
followed the method? You can also ask, when where, how and why work is to
be done etc. This puts your workers in the position where they are
responsible and accountable. (if you make a directive, you may have to
defend it.) I suggest it is reasonable for workers to self manage, and
they can do this provided the guidance material is available. Management
policiy statements should include reference to National Standards, as this
gives compliance with most state laws. Any procedure manual should first
require flowcharting of the process involved in supplying your product or
service. The beautiful thing about this approach to management is that you
can make yourself effectively redundant and move on to better pursuits
such as R&D. Or you can sit on your hands and get a redundancy package,
if you are a public servant.
If you are in a management position, I suggest you try this, it can make your work into fun.
"Alan Cotterell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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