Do Managers Matter?

There’s a really interesting article in the latest HBR - "How Google sold its Engineers on Management" which outlines Google’s data driven, analytical approach to understanding and developing effective management practices. While there are no real surprises in their findings summarised below, it is worthwhile reading the background commentary, watching the interview with the article’s author David Garvin from Harvard Business School, and considering how their approach could be adopted and adapted for your organisation.

Google’s people analytics team identified eight key behaviours demonstrated by the company’s most effective managers.

A good manager:
1. Is a good coach
2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage
3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
4. Is productive and results-oriented
5. Is a good communicator—listens and shares information
6. Helps with career development
7. Has a clear vision and strategy for the team
8. Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team

Peak Performance is currently working with a significant financial services organisation that has taken a similar approach to Google. They have developed manager profiles that identify key result areas and specific attributes and behaviours expected of managers at each level within the organisation. Again nothing new, but what is different is the clarity of their communications around these profiles and the approach they’re taking to developing managers into better leaders.

Their managers have the opportunity to attend a series of short, sharp, conversation-based sessions that focus on developing the key skills, attitudes and behaviours identified in their manager profiles. These ‘facilitated discussions’ from our TakeON! Management Matters program are light on theory but heavy on practice, encouraging managers to explore key topics and share ideas and experiences with their peers. The uptake and positive response to the sessions is unprecedented. Feedback indicates that the magic lies not only in the useful tools and frameworks offered but in the ‘people-oriented’ conversations they otherwise wouldn't have and in the practical advice and support they receive from colleagues who have often faced similar challenges and opportunities.

There’s no doubt that managers do matter. If you’re interested in finding out more about our collaborative TakeON! Management Matters approach and themes that align with the behaviours of Google’s most effective managers click here or contact me for a confidential discussion.


PS: Thanks to Blythe Rowe for sharing the link to this compelling article on the ON2net, TakeON’s fantastic social collaboration platform!


Posted: Saturday 30 November 2013

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