29 February 2016
5 Rituals for Successful Management
Good, bad, ridiculous – we all have rituals that give the grounds for successful management. For most, coffee is one of those rituals, signifying the start of the day, the introduction to work. It provides the fuel for our activities. Encouraging individual adoption of rituals leads to successful management, job satisfaction and overall happiness. Companies are in a unique position to be good role model for individuals by adopting corporate-level rituals. Here are a few corporate rituals that will get you and your teams moving in the right direction:
The morning ritual practised in restaurants around the world at the beginning of the shift is just as valuable in the office. Keep it short, high level, and structured, and you have a 5 to 10-minute opportunity to communicate key company-level updates in person. These meetings are also often used to recall, highlight and reinforce the company’s vision and values as they manifest in employees, as well as celebrate successes and share important updates. Make it a daily or even weekly ritual. Your team will be well informed and everyone will be paddling in the same direction.
Companies have been doing this for ages. But it’s a cost-effective way to take a breath and celebrate your employees and show them that they matter to you. An interesting variation on this practice is to have the birthday boy or girl bring food for the entire team. It’s better rather than the company bringing a cake for them. If your company can afford it, you can give the birthday girl a small budget to buy snacks or something for the office. This gives everyone in the company the opportunity to be the centre of attention at least once a year, and they decide how big or small it is.
Post Mortem Project Meeting
How many projects are completed, with hundreds if not thousands of hours poured into creation, only for it to go out the door? The End. Make it a company ritual to hold a meeting after the project is complete, long enough after that people have perspective, but not so long after that they forget (a week after, but no later than two weeks). Create a list of questions and topics for everyone to discuss, and keep a file, things like “What made this great?”, “What would have made this great?”, “Why did we do this?”. These meetings provide clarity and alignment of effort and give you real-time insight into how close you are to completion and a running update on project activity.
Implement a Successful Management Approach for the project
Whether or not you are a “project manager” by title, most people juggle more than one project from week to week or day to day. There are many methods you can use to manage projects. It seems that Kanban-based project management is one of the simplest and most effective. Team members or you as a manager create boards with items (tasks) and assign them to other people. As a manager, you have visibility into where people are in their progress without interrupting them. This can be transformative as it reduces distractions and allows people to check-in matters when it is convenient for them.
Adopt Online Tool For Better Performance
As a leader, your core mission is to achieve and accomplish through others. The best managers ritually meet with their people, some do it daily, some weekly. Keeping track of what everyone is doing all the time is a difficult task. But technology has stepped in and offers an amazing set of tools to help. Encourage 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 allows individual team members to create and share their boards with anyone, including their manager. If an employee knows they’re going to sit in front of their Kanban board at their weekly meeting and talk through everything, they’ll use it.
Rituals are like discipline in a different guise. They are so subconscious that we don’t even have to think about them, but they give our brains tremendous freedom to focus on higher-value things. If you adopt these rituals into your successful management practice, you will quickly find that you know what your team is working on, who needs your help, and they will know where to focus their attention. You will have a team that regularly shares ideas and one that learns from its mistakes. The power of implementing rituals at the corporate level will have “trickle-down” effects that will improve the team around you and the results.
Personal rituals of successful people: Do you wait until after 9:30 for your first cup of coffee and know why? Find out what really boosts your productivity. Identify the single most important task at the beginning of the day and do it first. At the end of the day, do the to-do list for tomorrow. Meditate for 10 minutes every day.