5 Rituals for Successful Management



Good, bad, and ridiculous, we all have rituals. For most, coffee is one of those rituals, signifying the start of our day, getting down to business, and providing the fuel for our activities.


Encouraging individual adoption of rituals can improve productivity, job satisfaction, and overall happiness. Companies are in a unique position to be a good role model for individuals by adopting rituals at the company level. Here are a few company rituals that will keep you and your teams moving in the right direction:


The morning ritual, that is practiced in restaurants around the world at the beginning of the shift is equally valuable in the office. Keep it brief, high level, and structured and you have a 5 to 10 minute opportunity to personally communicate the key updates at the company-wide level. These meetings are also often used to recall, highlight, and reinforce the vision and values of the company as manifested in the people, as well as celebrate success and share important updates. Make it a daily or even a weekly ritual and your team will be well informed and everyone will be paddling in the same direction.

Birthday Celebrations

Companies have been doing this for ages, but it’s a low cost way to take a breath and celebrate your people, showing them that you care. An interesting twist on this practice is to have the birthday boy or girl bring in food for the entire team rather than company bringing a cake for them. If your company can afford it, you can give the birthday celebrant a small budget to buy snacks or something for the office. This gives everyone in the company an opportunity to sit center stage at least once a year and they control how big or small a deal it is.

Post Mortem Project Meeting

How many projects get finished, with hundreds if not thousands of hours going into the creation, only to have it go out the door. The end. Make it a company ritual to do a meeting after the project is done, long enough afterwards that people have perspective but not so long after that they will have forgotten (one week after but not later than two weeks). Create a list of questions and topics to discuss for each and everyone and start a file, things like “What made this awesome?”, “What would have made this awesome?”, “Why did we do that?”. These meetings ensure clarity and alignment of effort and give you real-time insight into how close you are to completion and an ongoing update on the activity of projects.

Implement Project Management Approach

Whether or not you’re a “project manager” by title, most people are juggling more than one project on a week-to-week or day-to-day basis. There are many methods that one can use for managing projects. Seems like kanban-based project management is one of the easiest and effective ones. Team members, or you as the manager, create boards with items (tasks) and assign them to other people. As the manager you will have insight into where people are at in their progress without interrupting them. This can be transformative as it reduces distractions and enables people to check in matters when it’s convenient for them.

Adopt Online Tool For Better Performance

As a manager, your core job is to achieve and accomplish things through other people. The best managers meet with their people ritually, some do it daily and some weekly. Keeping tabs on what everyone is doing all the time is a difficult task, but technology has stepped in to provide an amazing suite of tools to assist. Drive adoption of ONE project management tool by holding all your work in progress meetings. One of these online tools is Kanbanchi – a free online kanban project management tool that enables individual team members to create and share their boards with anyone including their manager. If an employee knows that their weekly meeting is going to be sitting in front of their kanban board and talking through everything, they are going to use it.

Rituals are like discipline in a different cloak, they’re so unconscious that we don’t even have to think about them, but they provide tremendous freedom for our brain to focus on higher value items. By adopting these rituals into your management practice you will quickly discover that you know what your team is working, who needs your help, and they will know where to focus their attention. You will have a team that socializes a little bit on a regular basis, and one that learns from their mistakes. The power of implementing rituals at the company level will have trickle down effects that will improve the team around you and the outcomes.


Personal rituals of successful people: Wait until after 9:30 for your first cup of coffee, and do you know why? Check out what really boosts your productivity. At the start of the day identify the most important single thing to do and do it first. At the end of the day, do tomorrow’s to do list. Meditate for 10 minutes every day.

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