As a management trainer I thought that I would give Gordon Brown and his motley band of funsters a basic (and free) lesson in management – purely to help then to concentrate their minds. During this week’s PMQs, David Cameron referred to the “headless chicken”. His brutally eloquent summing up of the Brown style , although unoriginal is perfectly accurate.
There are only a few types of generally accepted styles of management. So which one is the Labour Party using?:
1. Management by Objectives. This is the best-known and easiest to understand and all other styles of management have this style at their core. You set specific measurable objectives which are agreed and timebased and then you monitor progress. For instance: The banks will have lent £10 billion to businesses by 15th February. Currently, the government’s version is that the banks will lend when they have “regained confidence”. Perhaps Gordon Brown ought to assign a social worker and a counsellor to each bank to help with their affirmation exercises.
2. Management by Exception. Let the system continue and only intervene when pre-defined objectives are not being met. Do not attempt to manage every single micro process such as fiddling with the VAT at a time when retailers are discounting by 50 or 60 %.
3. Management by Process. Define critical Macro and Micro processes, assign ownership of these processes and monitor and measure performance and progress against pre-determined objectives.
4. Management by Projects. Plan the entire process that you need to complete your goals and set interim goals. Intervene when it looks as if a goal is in danger of failing to be achieved.
Currently it appears that the government has no plan, no time-based objectives and appears to be creating so many disparate goals that the country is in real danger of losing total confidence.
The government appears to be an observer rather than a shaper of events. The current style of management also has a name and is called:
5. Management by Pissing in the Dark. You attack as many parameters as you can in the hope that something positive happens. Unfortunately you need to hit them in the right order which is unlikely especially if a. You don’t really understand the root cause of the problem and b. Your head is being eyed up by the man from KFC.