Recently I did a post on the Seven Diseases of Middle Management. I have been exploring each disease in more detail. This post focuses on Blurry Vision.
Disease: Blurry Vision
Many hard working managers lead their teams in the wrong direction! As a consequence, team members spend their time on tasks that are not fruitful. What´s worse is that others in the organization are watching this happen. Is this a case of Blurry Vision? Probably.
The symptoms of Blurry Vision include an inability to discern company expectations, current performance levels, and appropriate goals. Teams feel unsure that their work matters or is making a difference. If managers or team members have a hard time saying how their work supports corporate goals, Blurry Vision is a problem. Blurry Vision can also occur because changes have occurred but no departmental adjustments have been made.
Blurry Vision can be cured by finding and following the right prescription. Here´s how to get into focus:
– Know what your company wants from you and your team. Spend time with managers and peers talking about the business. Make sure you have a current copy of the strategic plan and objectives. Ask what the priorities are and how they will change in the near term. Communicate this information to your team to make sure they are current and can bring any alignment issues to your attention.
– Know how your team is doing relative to expectations, hopes, and needs of the company. Really – how are you and your team regarded?
– Establish clear and flexible targets that support the organization´s plan. FLEXIBILITY is the key to preventing Blurry Vision.
Summary: Most middle managers assume they know what the senior management team wants from them. While some assumptions are correct, a large number are not. This is unfortunate and a major waste of time and energy. Blurry Vision is easy to treat through good and regular communication.