Thursday, May 04, 2006

Something Learnt from the Singapore Elections

People don't like bullies. Even extremely competent people have proven themselves. People just don't like to see unfairness, injustice and bullies. Power is meant to serve the people, not to serve themselves.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Putting the One-Minute Manager to Work

People who produce good results.--Feel Good About Themselves.

Most companies spend all their time looking for another management concept and very little time following up the one they have just taught their managers.

Just like people who try a new fad diet, they try something for a couple of months give up and then wonder why it doesn't work.

ABC's of management:

A = Activators

B = Behaviour

C = Consequences

Activators are those things that have to be done by a manager before someone can be expected to accomplish a goal.

Behaviour is what a person says or does.

Consequences are what a manager does after someone accomplishes or attempts to accomplish a goal.

One minute management is a positive approach to managing people.

One of the problems is that many managers seem to praise or reprimand their staff depending on how they themselves feel on any given day, regardless of anyone's performance. If they are feeling good, they pat everyone on the back, and if they are in a bad mood, they yell at everyone.

When to reset goals and when to reprimand:

If a person:

CAN'T DO something-->Go back to goal setting. (A training problem).

WON'T DO something-->Reprimand (An attitude problem).

What it means What a manager does before performance Performance: What someone says or does. What a manager does after performance.

One Minute Goal Setting

  • Areas of accountability

  • Performance standards

  • Instructions

  • Writes report

  • Sells shirt

  • Comes to work

  • Misses deadline

  • Types letter

  • Makes mistake

  • Fills order

One Minute Praising

  • Immediate, specific

  • Shares feelings

One Minute Reprimand

  • Immediate, specific

  • Shares feelings

  • Supports individual

No response

5 Steps to training a learner to be a good performer:

  1. Tell what to do

  2. Show how to do

  3. Let person try

  4. Observe performance

  5. Praise progress or redirect

Only positive consequences encourage good future performance.

Most managers attitude seems to be: when people perform well, do nothing. When people make a mistake, complain. The old "leave-alone-rebuke" technique'.

Most people think activators have a greater influence yet only 15-25% of performance comes from activators while 75-85% comes from consequences like praisings and reprimands. (Note: Pareto principle at work again.)

Goal setting without any managing of consequences, will only get things started and bring short term success for a manager.

As a manager the important thing is not what happens when you are there but what happens when you are not there.

You don't reprimand a learner. You reprimand only when you know the person can do better. When you leave your staff after a reprimand, you want them to be thinking about what they did wrong, not about the way you treated them.

When you end a reprimand with a praising, people think about their behaviour, not your behaviour.

Rule of reprimand: You only have 30 seconds to share your feelings.

If you're reprimand is interrupted, stop what you are saying and make it clear to that person that it is not a discussion. "I am sharing my feelings about what you did wrong, and if you want to discuss it later, I will. But right now this is not a two-way discussion. I am telling you how I feel."

Do not begin with praise, then reprimand, then praise again. (I.e. the "sandwich method.") Because when you go to see a person just to praise him, he will not hear your praising because he will be wondering when the other shoe will drop.


  • Pinpoint

  • Record

  • Involve

  • Coach

  • Evaluate

Pinpoint is a process of defining key performance areas for people in observable measurable terms. (In essence, one-minute goals)

Record. You want to be able to measure present performance and keep track of progress in that area. You are able to make sure the problem is real and not "just a feeling".

Involve. Share feedback without judgment and in a spirit of learning. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Also, involve him in establishing activators. One minute management doesn't work unless you share it with your staff. Also decide what are the positive consequences when goals are achieved.

Coach. Observe performance and manage consequences.

Evaluate. Track performance progress and determine future strategies. Evaluate performance for periods of no longer than 6 weeks. (Whereas, other organizations do quarterly, or yearly evaluations).

Achieving good performance for most people is a journey--not a destination.

We mean them no harm.--Make sure this message gets to your subordinates.

"...a manager is not just to sit back, cross arms, look stern and evaluate. It's to roll up sleeves and be responsive to people and what they need to perform well."

It's more constructive for people to compete against a performance standard than against one another.


Life must be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard

The One-Minute Manager

The one minute manager is the book that made me a fan of Kenneth Blanchard.

In it, he uses very simple principles in management. That I am surprised is not used widely. It's a very thin book, but something that people who get promoted to management should read.

Below are my notes from the book and the summary of the diagram.

One Minute Manager.gif

PDF of image available here.
'Effective Managers... manage themselves and the people they work with so that both the organization and the people profit from their presence.'
People who feel good about themselves - produce good results.
During meetings:
  1. Review & Analyse what you accomplished last week.
  2. Problems that you had.
  3. What still needs to be accomplished.
  4. Develop plans & strategies for next week.
The purpose of this organization is efficiency. By being organized we are a great deal more productive.
Productivity is more than just the quantity of work done. It is also the quality.
Quality is simply giving people the product or service they really want and need.
The 3 things about the one minute manager is this:
  • Set 1-minute goals WITH your subordinate.
  • Use 1-minute praisings when goals are achieved.
  • Use 1-minute reprimands when goals are not achieved.
One minute goal setting is simply:
  1. Agree on your goals.
  2. See what good behaviour looks like.
  3. Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words.
  4. Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it.
  5. Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance, and
  6. See whether or not your behaviour matches your goal.
Use the Pareto Principle there are only 20% of goals that really achieve 80% of what you want.
If you can't tell me what you'd like to be happening, you don't have a problem yet. You're just complaining. A problem exists only if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.
One Minute Praising Works Well When You:
  1. Tell people right from the start that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
  2. Praise people immediately.
  3. Tell people what they did right--be specific.
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there.
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them 'feel' how good you feel.
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same.
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization.
One Minute Reprimand works well when you:
  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms.
The first half of the reprimand:
    1. Reprimand people immediately.
    2. Tell people what they did wrong-be specific.
    3. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong-and in no uncertain terms.
    4. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel.
      The second half of the reprimand:
      1. Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side.
      2. Remind them how much you value them.
      3. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation.
      4. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it's over.

      The best minute I spend is the one I invest in other people.
      "It's ironic, most companies spend 50%-70% of their money on people's salaries. And yet they spend less than 1% of their budget to train their people. Most companies, in fact, spend more time and money on maintaining their buildings and equipment than they do on maintaining and developing people."
      Everyone is a potential winner.

      Some people are disguised as losers.

      Don't let their appearances fool you.
      You really have only 3 choices as a manager:
      1. First, you can hire winners. They are hard to find and they cost money.
      2. Or, second, if you can't find a winner, you can hire someone with the potential to be a winner. Then you systematically train that person to become a winner.
      3. If you are not willing to do either of the first two (and I am continually amazed at the number of managers who won't spend the money to hire a winner or take the time to train someone to become a winner), then there is only the third choice left--prayer.'
      Take a minute:
      • Look at your goals.
      • Look at your performance.
      • See if your behaviour matches your goals.
      We are not just our behaviour.
      We are the person managing our behaviour.
      Reprimand before praise. Not the other way round. Praising is reminding people they are valuable and worthwhile.

      Touching is important if you know the person well and are clearly interested in helping the person to succeed in his or her work. But not if you or the other person has doubts about that.

      Touch is a very powerful message.

      Touch is very honest. People know immediately when you touch them whether you care about them, or whether you are just trying to find a new way to manipulate them.

      When you touch. Don't take. Touch people you manage only when you are giving them someone--reassurance, support, encouragement, or whatever.

      Manipulation is getting people to do something they are either not aware of or don't agree to. That is why it is so important to let each person know right from the start what you are doing and why.

      Goals begin behaviours, consequences maintain behaviours.

      Nobody ever really works for anyone else. I just help people work better and in the process they benefit our organization.

      Monday, May 01, 2006

      If God Was Like Political Parties

      A very funny entry on Mr Brown.

      But besides that, it made me think of why God doesn't seem to distinguish between those worship him and those who don't. Why is it that even the unrighteous seem to get blessings on earth despite shunning God?

      "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" (Matthew 5:44-46)

      Using rewards to cause someone to worship you, does it make you genuinely worship him? It's like bribery.

      What about miracles? Those were used to prove he had the power. And even then he fed many people and healed many, even though later they were ungrateful.

      Makes you think... God doesn't use political tactics to bribe people to worship him.

      (This entry edited immediately after posting to remove any references to any specific political parties. Remember, prison got no broadband.)

      They should have elections every year...

      Have you ever realized that the economy always goes up, unemployment always goes down, and the nation always does very well during election years.

      I would suggest then that Singapore should have elections every year in order to keep it up...