Management – the key to creating
The heat is on! You may have noticed, but life in the workplace is not
getting any easier. ‘Value’ is the new business mantra – we all need to
deliver measurable, sustainable value. Businesses are striving for ever-
increasing sales and the pressure on profits is even greater. Whether it
is above the line or below the line, value is being wrought out of every
sinew, fibre and function of a business. From HR and IT to supply chain,
production, marketing, sales and beyond, the need to deliver value is
now an unavoidable imperative and it is coupled with a need to be able
to demonstrate and capitalise on this value. Each business must con-
vince major stakeholders to keep backing the corporate vision in the
sure-fire knowledge that this will prove a vehicle for increasing returns in
a highly competitive environment.
How can this be done on a sustainable basis? Who will do it? Who
will do it most effectively? The respective answers are: through better,
more systematic, management; managers at all levels; Fast Track
managers who, armed with the right tools, self-belief and attitude, will
succeed in delivering sustainable value. In the process, they will be
noticed and accelerated through the organisation. Any business worth
its salt – and with an eye to future growth – will value and reward the
deliverers of strategic and operational value.
Diversity of management approach
– different but equal
Fast Track managers deploy a whole range of skills and no two styles
are the same. Having respect for different approaches is vital in terms
of acceptance of cultural and human diversity and, in fostering and pro-
moting different intellectual approaches. It represents a key way in which
MANAGING FAST TRACK
MANAGING FAST TRACK
people must be allowed to be different. Some will adopt a studied, con-
siderate approach to decision-making; others will be more gung-ho.
Some will involve the team and peers; others will go it alone. The com-
monality between the differing styles of managing is that all managers
will make mistakes (some more than others, admittedly), but the Fast
Track managers will make fewer and the way they handle mistakes will
be better – learning from history and striving to be better next time.
Of all the different approaches, one of the hardest to reconcile is
the way in which different managers handle the concept of value. Any
approach that fails to get to grips with the key areas of value that a role
or function must deliver is a flawed approach. Having overcome this
hurdle, any working approach then has to deliver and maximise the
impact of any value-creating activities. If your approach does this, you
will be on the right road.
The importance of being practical
It is not enough to talk a good game. The only currency that is
respected universally in the modern business environment is that of
demonstrable results. Whatever the approach, any manager needs to
understand the metrics of success and determine how these will be
delivered and improved – boiling it down to first principles.
Who will do what and when?
How will this add value?
How will results and progress be verified before it is too late?
Many businesses and managers can tend to overengineer the mechan-
ics of delivery. Like all good things, though, the best are typically the
If management is about creating value – then it is worth understanding
that value is not a fleeting concept but a long-term enhancement of the
corporate effectiveness and ability to thrive. In this context, it is logical