Peter Drucker termed the “activity trap”: stressing output is the key to increasing productivity while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite. On an assembly line, it’s easy enough to distinguish the output from activity. It gets trickier when employees are paid to think. Grove wrestled with two riddles: How can we define and measure output by knowledge workers? And what can be done to increase it?
This is the second summary-article inspired by the book “Dark Cockpit”. In the previous one the focus was on how to communicate unequivocally, and this time we will cover the responsibility topic.
Your employees want to know that whoever is at the helm can make good decisions and keep them in mind when they do.
The test of a leader is if they have their team better than they found it. If you had to leave your team tomorrow, for whatever reason, how would they do? And we’re not just looking at numbers, but at the team’s potential to reach new heights in the future.
“Dark Cockpit” by Emil Dobrovolschi and Octavian Pantis is a book that learns us how to become a better pilot for our projects, for our people, and even in life outside work by using valuable principles from aviation.
What is a dark cockpit? That is what we call a situation where no lights are on – no blue for extra usage, amber for caution, or red for danger. Everything is going smoothly. Everything is under control and working within its normal parameters. The plane is flying, and the passengers are doing their own thing: reading a book, watching a movie, having a snack, etc.
Management is a team activity. We learned that we also interact with a team of teams. But no matter how well a team is put together, no matter how well it is directed, the team will perform only as well as the individuals on it. In other words, everything we’ve considered so far is useless unless the members of our team will continually try to offer the best they can do.
We established the fact that the game of management is a team game: a manager’s output is the output of the organizations under his supervision or influence. We now discover that management is not just a team game, it is a game in which we have to fashion a team of teams, where the various individual teams exist in some suitable and mutually supportive relationship with each other.
After we discovered that a manager’s output is represented by the output of the team plus the output of the neighboring teams under his/her influence, now let’s focus on how important is to have indicators and how we can assure quality and productivity.📈
“High Output Management” by Andrew Grove is a practical and pragmatic book that covers multiple topics, insights, and ideas from the management world. This article is an introductory one about this book and it covers the role of the manager in this changing context, the management equation, and the purpose of the training in your team members’ growth.