Here is a quick management quiz for department heads and managers.
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may not be adequately performing the management cycle's planning and organizing functions. Not to overdo the fire analogy, but if you are a manager who loves crises, failure to plan is the management equivalent of arson. That is, you are CREATING tomorrow's fires.
In the first place, well-managed departments don't have that many fires to put out. They are characterized by well-trained people performing their jobs using standard processes. If the same problems crop up again and again, you need to investigate to find the root cause of the problem.
Stand back and take a look at how you're spending your time. If you have performed the management cycle's planning function, then you have developed goals and objectives - for your department and for you personally. These goals and objectives are theoretically among the most important things in your world of work.
Now, how much of your day is routinely spent performing functions that advance you toward your goals and objectives? If the answer is "not much," what does it say if you don't spend most of your time on things that will help achieve your goals?
A few hours spent fixing root causes can free up hundreds of "fire fighting" hours for more productive activity.
© 1990-2010 Frank J. Brady & Associates, Inc.