The Yellow Brick Road to Active Management

July 13, 2016

When skilled employees become managers they typically receive leadership training, but what about management training? And there is a difference.

The Wizard of Oz is about a young orphaned farm girl that has been dropped in an unexpected situation and suddenly expected to inspire, lead and manage her way out of sticky situations in the ultimate goal of finding her way home.

It’s a farfetched story based in a fictional place. Or is it?

Let’s take a real example. If John is a great salesperson, exceeds his quota, and gets on with his bosses, eventually, he will be promoted to sales manager. But the skills that he’s developed as an effective salesperson does not necessarily dovetail into a management role.

Dorothy from Kansas is dropped into Oz and suddenly has to find her way to the great wizard, she meets and leads a group of misfits that (luckily) all have the same goal, Dorothy does a great job in managing their time and expectations and inspiring them when they need a boost. Of course, she does a great job, it’s a fairy tale!

The reality is that we do the same thing to most of our managers. Just like John, we pluck them from their daily life and drop them into a new world expecting them to manage complex situations and people with little to no training or support. Unlike Dorothy, in business, everyone does not have the same goal, a salesperson may take a short-term view at the end of the month only to harm longer-term business goals.

We send new managers like John on a leadership course, he learns the correct language to use to encourage people, he learns that all ideas are good and that his role is to extract, nurture and guide staff.

  • But what about learning to manage?
  • What do you do if your team has the lowest sales 2 quarters in a row?
  • How do you determine the root cause?
  • How does John investigate and correct poor performance or behavior?

Trindent recognizes this gap is common across businesses and it takes more than just training to resolve it. In an engagement, we identify and install the correct KPI to drive staff behavior, we train managers on how to manage staff in a consistent and systematic way that aligns expectations and provides a platform for open discussion to encourage positive behavior and manage negative behavior.

We bridge the gap with Active Management that weaves together the process, the system and staff behaviors to ensure continuous improvement sustainability.

This blog was written by Brad Horan, Associate Principal at Trindent Consulting. A highly experienced business executive, Brad Horan has over 17 years of consulting experience working with large global organizations to identify and implement profit improvement strategies.