Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Rule 87: Be well up on new management techniques

By on 15:28
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Group Managing Director, DAAR Communications (Owners of  Raypower and AIT), Anthony Akiotu

You cannot afford ever to stand still, to rest on your laurels, to sit back and take it easy.  All the time you are doing any of these things there will be someone stealing a march on you.

You have to move with the times and that means keeping up with the latest management techniques, the newest buzzwords, whatever is executive flavor of the month.  To stay top of the tree you have to know what jargon is being talked.  It’s no good referring to it as personnel when everyone else is talking about human resources.  You’ll look a chump if you are still stuck in logistics when the board is now concentrating on client-focused core business or whatever.

I’m not suggesting you have to use these new techniques but you had better know them to stay ahead of the pack – you may be asked. You can always have fun playing buzzword bingo at meetings – award yourself a point for every new ridiculous buzzword you hear and when you have ten points leap to your feet and shout, ‘Bingo!’.  It keeps you awake.

 “You should also know what all the latest management disciplines are and how they might affect you.  Try not to sound out of date when you talk of management techniques”

And you’ll certainly hear a lot of wonderfully useless expressions – for instance what exactly does Blue Sky mean?  As in, ‘we shall have to Blue Sky this product’.  It might mean, ‘anything goes, be creative and set no boundaries’.  It might also mean, ‘We’re a bunch of jargonists who want to sound cool and with it, but who actually sound rather silly’.

If you use buzzwords try not to sound silly.  You should, of course, know what they all mean.

You should also know what all the latest management disciplines are and how they might affect you.  Try not to sound out of date when you talk of management techniques.  For instance it was called logistics in my day, but now it is supply chain management – and by the time you are reading this it will be something else I expect.

You should know what the advantages and disadvantages of any of these buzzwords are just in case they crop up and you want to look good.  There ought to be a sort of bluffer’s guide to management speak, but I don’t think there is, so you will have to incorporate it into your game plan and see the big picture because at the end of the day there will be a new ball park and the best practice of your core business will be a sort of knock-on effect that will play you out of the loop if you don’t take your knowledge off-line and start thinking outside of the box which might just get you in with the movers and shakers without having to move your goal posts or go the extra mile while playing hardball and being a show stopper.  So stretch the envelope and the bottom line is total quality.
(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to know the Secret Agenda of the Company” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)
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