BUSINESS
FAST TRACK
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I
rrespective of your chosen function or discipline, look around at the
successful managers whom you know and admire. We call these
people Fast Track managers, people who have the knowledge and
skills to perform well and fast track their careers. Notice how they excel
at three things:
Tools and techniques
They have a good understanding of best practices for their particular
field. This is in the form of methods and techniques that translate knowl-
edge into decisions, insights and actions. They understand what the best
companies do and have an ability to interpret what is relevant for their
own businesses. The processes they use are generally simple to explain
and form a logical step-by-step approach to solving a problem or captur-
ing data and insights. They also encourage creativity Fast Track
managers do not follow a process slavishly where they know they are fill-
ing in the boxes rather than looking for insights on how to improve
performance. This combination of method and creativity produces the
optimum solutions.
They also have a clear understanding of what is important to know
and what is simply noise. They either know this information or have it at
their fingertips as and when they require it. They also have effective filter-
ing mechanisms so that they don’t get overloaded with extraneous
information. The level of detail required varies dramatically from one situ-
ation to another the small entrepreneur will work a lot more on the
knowledge they have and in gaining facts from quick conversations with
experts, whereas a large corporate may employ teams of analysts and
research companies. Frequently when a team is going through any
process they uncover the need for further data.
Tools and
techniques
+
Technologies
+
Implementation
=
Fast Track
to success
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Technologies
However, having the facts and understanding best practice will achieve
little unless they are built into the systems that people use on a day-to-
day basis. Fast Track managers use appropriate technologies to
maximise both effectiveness and efficiency.
Implementation
Finally, having designed the framework that is appropriate to them and
their team, Fast Track managers are also great at implementation, putting
in place the changes necessary to build and sustain the performance of
the team.
In the next chapters we will outline the structures and processes that
cover all these topics, but the choice as to how tightly or loosely you will
use them will vary, and will to a certain extent depend on personal style.
As you read through the following three chapters, first seek to under-
stand how each idea could impact you and your team, and then decide
what level of implementation may be appropriate, given your starting
point, authority and aspirations.
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