Archive for June, 2013

Stop the battles: Using authorities to set up cross-functional work

Eli Painting 1

There is a way to create a culture of working together and stopping cross-functional work being the bane of your people’s working life, and it does not start with sending everyone away to learn how to handle conflict, find out their personality type or get 360 feedback.

Instead, it involves addressing the issue at its source by managers clarifying what they are each accountable for, confirming with their cross-over manager, then setting up role relationships for their people by integrating accountabilities and authorities.

Elliott Jaques provides  seven different types of authority to match with accountability Read more…

Connect what to who (not how)

ETSA Building 2

Tom Foster writes Management Skills Blog, one of the best going around on organisations and management.  I always urge my clients to sign up, please do yourself a favour and do the same.

One of my favourite points of Tom’s is  “it’s not about how, it’s about who“.    This simple phrase goes to the heart of a change in thinking managers at all levels can apply if they want to provide better value-adding leadership to their people.

A manager who is spending their time thinking about how their people need to do something is not actually doing their full job.   This is for a simple reason – managers are paid to exercise their judgement on what needs to be done in their area to fulfill the needs of the organisation, then decide who is going to do it.

An example Read more…

The simple step to improving cross-functional relationships

Cat Stone

Something actually quite strange, but common, are Finance areas taking ownership of profitability for an organisation.  You will hear comments like “March should be a big month, which will make Jim (CFO) happy”, and you’ll hear Jim saying things like “my money” and “that’s good for my bottom line”.

We see the exact same thing when HR departments take ownership of culture or employee engagement.

This comes from a good place, from Read more…

Why Mick Malthouse is having fun


I think Mick Malthouse is having fun.  Mick is the coach of  Carlton, a team in the Australian Football League which is the top competition in the land.  He took on the job this season and I think overall he is having a good time due to two structural reasons that are useful for us to pay attention to.

The first is clarity of accountability.  I doubt Mick has Read more…

A real strategy


Recently, I heard a strategy that was fantastic.  It was an outsourcing strategy, and was quite simply “if it can fit on a truck, we aren’t building it“.

Why did I love this strategy?  Because it was actually a strategy!  It wasn’t a purpose or intent, an objective, nor was it a plan.  It was a strategy.

A strategy is nothing more than a sentence or three that sums up the approach or philosophy that we are going to use to guide us in achieving an intent.  It gives us the filters that we can then use to make decisions.  Look at the outsourcing strategy I referred to above. Read more…