by Paul Spiegelman
If you want to be the best in your industry, you have to get rid of your outdated management style.
Business owners certainly have a long way to go, especially in more established companies where old practices die hard. But you can see increasing evidence that by creating a company with a clear purpose and values, you'll find your employees connect themselves to something bigger, and that increases productivity. In other words, a culture of engagement leads to greater customer loyalty, and better financial success.
Here's my list of "old school" practices you ought to chuck, and "new school" practices to champion instead:
1. Out: Micro-management, or the need to control every aspect of your company. In: Empowerment, the ability to give your people some rope--even rope to make mistakes without blame.
2. Out: Management by walking around the office; it is no longer enough to be visible. In: Leadership by watching and listening, engaging in conversation, implementing the ideas presented to you, and distributing the results.
3. Out: Pretending you know everything. You don't have all the answers, so why try to make people think you do? In: Knowing your leadership team members and trusting them. Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture. And get out of the way.
4. Out: No mistakes, or a "no tolerance policy" some still think works. In: Learning from mistakes, or being the first to admit an error.
5. Out: The balance sheet drives the business, and informs all other decisions. In: People drive the business, boosting customer loyalty, and profit.
6. Out: Job competency is sufficient. Do the job asked, and you'll survive. In: Recruit "A" players who will go the extra mile. They're out there.
7. Out: Invest in technology to increase productivity. In: Invest in people.
8. Out: Demand change; be very specific about what you want and when. In: Nurture change; your people can come up with the best ideas and you can give them credit for it.
9. Out: Fried food in the cafeteria. In: Wellness in the workplace.
10. Out: Incentives; pay employees more money and they'll do more. In: Rewards; being valued matters more than money.
So ask yourself which of these out-of-date practices you're still using. There's no time like now to try something new.