Archive for November, 2012

Arguments are opportunity

I’ve been lucky enough to have a situation where my people have been arguing.  Classic stuff too – the Sales Manager arguing that the Operations Manager isn’t delivering while the Operations Manager argues that the Sales Manager is selling what can’t be done.

Both are strong people who have an excellent feel for the overall business, and run their departments well.

Why am I lucky?

Because we’ve uncovered a genuine strategic question, which is: should we be in that market at all?

Reminds me of a great scene described in Robert Pirsig’s classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance where a fellow college teacher asked him what the noise coming out of his classroom was about.  He calmly answered “we’ve come across a genuine question, and the shock of it is hard to recover from”. Read more…

What do managers do?

I was at a Bucks Show on the weekend, at the awesomely old-school pool hall Chalkers at Glenelg.  I played a game with Joe, who is an excellent bloke I get to see around the social circle from time-to-time, and as I successfully avoiding potting the 3-ball into the pocket I was aiming, he asked me what did I do before I became a consultant.

As I started to bore him with the details of what the business I used to oversee actually did, he stopped me with “yeah…but what was your job?”.

I had a quick think, and answered with my job title back then – General Manager.

He laughed and said “If someone could explain to me what managers actually do, that would be great”, then headed off for a pit stop.  Read more…