If you’re in management or governance it’s time to go for a wander.
Does anyone remember the management style called MBWA? Managing By Wandering Around?… We should.
MBWA basically involved getting out from behind a spreadsheet and stack of reports and actually getting involved with the people doing the work. In an office environment this equates to literally strolling around, chatting to the various employees, from cleaners to admin to managers, and informally becoming aware of the reality of the businesses.
Some ‘managers’ would literally shy away from this kind of hands on way, others might think they are in a station above. But failure to understand the actual people and processes in the rel work environment is cause for concern at the very least.
Managing By Wandering Around means you become aware of the truth of the company. Not the reports all the departments feed upwards, not the spreadsheets that tell half the story, but the actual reality of the business; the people, how they work together, how processes and departments fit together, where the problems are, the annoying inefficiencies that employees all know about and end up creating their own fixes for, or not. You’ll come to understand the culture, the attitude, the stuff that the other managers and directors don’t know about because they make ‘data based descisions’ and in doing so are missing everything else.
Read this more in depth piece here, especially regarding Governance By Wandering Around.
Then walk the Earth. Or at least round the office.
Storming photo by Daniel Cheung