Stuff goes wrong at work from time to time. When it does, we tend to respond in one of three ways.
There is a problem! What are we going to do?!
There is a problem! Here’s what I think we should do.
I think we should do this. Doing this will solve the problem.
The first type of response is both the easiest and the least productive. The second is vastly improved but still not ideal. The third is the most difficult and almost always results in the most productive outcome.
To explore each of these a bit, we’ll do it in the context of a relatively common problem like “The website is down!” …
Imagine yourself in a group of ten people. You ask them, on the count of three, to say what you’re supposed to do at a red light. You count to three and, pretty much in unison, everyone says “Stop”. You do the same thing again, now for a green light. …
Micromanagement isn’t bad.
But it is widely and alarmingly misused. Before you curse me and all of my offspring for the heresy of this claim, let me offer a metaphor that may help illustrate the difference between a healthy version of micromanagement and the unhealthy variety that all of us are far too familiar with.
A few years ago, I taught our youngest daughter how to ride a bike. I ran close beside her as she wobbled down the street. I would gently direct her handlebars from time to time to help her avoid mailboxes and trash cans. I would give her a little boost from behind the seat to help her keep the right amount of momentum as her little, uncertain legs did their best to turn the pedals. …