MANAGEMENT BY WALKING AROUND
Monday, June 27, 2022
Every week – in fact, every day, we try to start fresh.
We want the blank canvas, this new page/fresh calendar, so that we can do our best imaginative work, our industrious best …
Unfortunately (but maybe we can change this), we have a day mixed with routine items, scheduled tasks, everything we didn’t finish last week, appointments and meetings scheduled for today, and we have no hope of getting our overflowing email inbox to empty.
Inbox zero is not in the cards.
Who is in control?
Me or my schedule?
Me or you?
You or the boss?
The only boss of this is a gremlin called ‘expectations’ of what we should do, more than what we want to do. We are prescriptive too much and outcomes-focused not enough.
If today isn’t a blank slate, fix it. If tomorrow isn’t, fix it now so tomorrow can be fresh-canvas. It’s like scheduling a vacation day away from everything on our over-laden plate and spending time on what matters to us without actually being away from the workplace – it’s a day of freedom. We can walk around and visit. We can check in with those we work with and those who report to us without the pressure/urgency of the moment, without the distractions of things on our to-do list …
Yes, this results in things piling up all the time on our ‘tomorrow list,’ but before tomorrow arrives, let’s have the best today we can have.
p.s. Management by Walking Around (The Every Day MBA is a management book for the 1980s), and I think its teachings are still relevant today. We work in a very complicated fast-paced, tech-driven world, and sometimes we need the balance of just walking around and talking to people. But if only we had the time …