Read it in the book
Bluff your way in management
John Courtis, Ravette Publishing 1985
Employees are very important but they are not the be-all and-end-all of a business, nor are they assets. Ironically the employment laws seem to recognize this and in their current state actively discourage one from having employees. The legislators have even built in a number of incentives in recent statutes whereby obligation to comply with legislation reduces as employee strength reduces. It is useful to point this out to union negotiations when seeking superficial distraction from the main issues, particularly because much of the legislation originated when the Labour Party was in power.
Staff appraisal is becoming more popular. Avoid it like the plague. The downside risk of introducing such a style, or even operating an existing one, is horrendous, given that it is an open, communicative, democratic, one. Good people take their merits for granted and sometimes dont want to know about their demerits. Average people can be demotivated by being reminded how average they are. Below average people can be hopelessly damaged by being told about faults which they do not have the brains or personality to surmount.
It is said that Managers only have meetings when they dont know what to do. This is not wholly true. Managers also have then when they do know what to do, but dont want to do it ; or want someone else to do it, or someone else to suggest it. Other things being equal, meetings which involve more than two people are inherently inefficient. Bluffers should avoid them. It is easy to disguise your ignorance or explain it casually in a one-to-one situation, virtually impossible in committee.
I keep six honest serving me, They thought me all I know; Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.
Kipling wrote it. Its a quotation from The Elephants Child and has considerable relevance in management. It is a handy guide, when you are:
- preparing a presentation;
- explaning something in a training or induction session;
- justifying a major project, or simply;
- writing a foolproof memo. Asking yourself the six key words helps you to explain to others, and aids your understanding too.