Blog 004 – The First Principle of Managing Made Simple
At the end of the last blog, there was an exercise for you to do. For those tasks where the results were not close to the expectations, the exercise was to ask “why” you chose the steps you did to get the results you were hoping for. Once you answered the “why”, you were to ask “why” the first “why” was the reason you based it on. Once you answered the second “why”, you were asked “why” you answered the second “why” that way.
The goal of the exercise was to dig deep to find out your reasoning, your rationale for why you made the decisions you did in trying define the steps to get to the results you were expecting. These reasons begin to show you what your principles are; what are the principles that make the foundation of your decisions. In some cases, you can drill down to the third “why” easily and defend your step(s). In other cases, you struggle to come up with an answer to even the first “why”. Many get stuck on the second “why”.
Managing anything is always based on fundamental principles. Some principles are well defined, detailed not only in “what” the principle is for and “how” the principle is to be used, but also “why” the principle is so important to you. Other principles are really not defined at all. So when we are asked to defend some of our actions based on these principles, we really don’t have anything to support the “why” of the principle.
Managing anything also requires us to assess our principles to see how positively or negatively our principles affected our results we were expecting to get. There are times that our principles direct us to do a set of steps that provide results that meet or exceed our expectations. There are other times our principles provide us results that are far below the expectations.
Reading autobiographies of successful people provides incredible insight into their successes. Their ability to justify their successes is usually based upon their earlier successes and what they learned from their earlier failures. Many times, their failures become the dominant portion of their books. They are able to take us by the hand and walk us through their story to provide their words of wisdom of what they learnt on their journey to get the results they were expecting. Most stories detail how their principles evolved and strengthened, how the principles positively or negatively influenced their results, and how they revised their principles to have a stronger effect on their results.
Managing Made Simple system devised a matrix to simplify the ability to define the influence and effectiveness of the principles that provide the foundation for the steps used to get results; The Principle Matrix.
The Principle Matrix simplifies the process of evaluating the Influences (I or i) and Effectiveness (E or e) of the principles that are the foundation of the decisions you made to get to a result. Each quadrant is defined with either a hi I or E and a low i or e. With this matrix you get to see if your principle will strongly influence people that it can provide the result you are looking for AND if it will have a strong positive effect on getting the best result possible.
- Hi I and Hi E (I/E): Having a principle in a hi I and hi E allows you to feel confident in the step(s) that the principle defines. When you have principles in this quadrant, you find that it is easy to defend your choice of steps used to provide the result. For example, Company A believes that the best potential customers are ones that have the opportunity to try a product without purchasing it first. Providing this opportunity to potential clients allows the company an opportunity to build a relationship with each client, to earn their trust in the products they have. They have defined this belief as a principle they will achieve. If your principle to build a relationship is to first earn their trust by providing people some of your product or service for free so they can establish trust in you, you have no problem establishing steps to provide some of your products or services for free. Have you ever been in a grocery store where an employee offers you some free samples to try? The principle has high influence and high effectiveness.
- Low i and Hi E (i/E): Principles in the low i and hi E are principles that are not well thought out, or tested. Many times, they are defined quickly. Sometimes they are not defined at all. They appear to have strong Effectiveness in the result, but many times, luck was on the team’s side for the results to equal or be greater than expectations. Have you ever reviewed a task and state something similar to this “ Wow, were we lucky. Things could have turned bad for us pretty quickly. We won’t ever do that again.”
- Hi I and Low e (I/e): Principles in the hi I and low e would show you that a step you are doing, or are considering doing, does not move your process in the right direction to get your results. Many times, principles discussed in this quadrant are from people who do not agree with how the business, company, team is doing things. They are strong in their convictions and believe that their principles are right, regardless of the impact(s) on the results.Principles in this quadrant have the potential to be very disruptive to the team. These are principles people feel very passionately in. Discussions can get heated if principles are found to be in this quadrant well into the process to create the result.
- Low i and Low e (i/e): Principles defined as having a low i and low e would show you that your principle you are discussing as the basis for a step in your process has no influence and is not effective in achieving the results you want. Implementing steps based on this type of principle will have both your customers and your team questioning your management skills.
The Managing Made Simple Principle Matrix is the tool, the resource, you can use to ensure that decisions you make in defining the steps to be used have clearly defined principles. It is the tool to make your managing more simple.
So, what are the principles of Managing Made Simple? The very first principle is this,
PRINCIPLE 01 – All Processes Are Open for Testing in the Principle Matrix.
Principle 01 can appear to be overwhelming and daunting. It can be, depending upon how and when you implement it. But if you implement things as a test when you have the resources available, like time, to do the implementing, it puts you in control of the process.
Justifying your decisions is not something new, but implementing Principle 01 gives you the opportunity to provide stronger, more concrete, influential, and effective reasoning and rationale for the steps you have taken.
So now it’s time to take some action to make your managing more simple. Take your principles you defined at the end of the last blog and put them into the Managing Made Simple Principle Matrix. Test those principles to see the principles’ Influence and Effectiveness on your results.
Over the next few weeks, have the matrix handy, and test some of your principles you are considering to base your decisions on and see if
- the principle will be able to strongly influence people that it should be the principles used in defining the tasks, and
- the principle be very effective in getting the best results possible.
If you have any questions on this blog, please post them below. These questions will be followed up in an upcoming podcast.
Till We Meet Again Next Week …
Managing Made Simple