Here’s a goal for managers: Create a system that doesn’t rely on finding top performers — you’ll get more top performers this way
It seems that many organizations are on the quest for finding top performers. People who have the ability to get the job done, to do what no one else can do, and really “exceed expectations.” This quest makes sense intuitively: Find top performers, and your organization will succeed. After all, who would want an organization full of mid-range and lower performers?
But here’s the problem: When you are on the quest for finding top performers, you risk ignoring the quest for systemically creating top performers.
Here’s the quest to find top performers. This quest tends to involve finding great hires, offering big bonuses, providing quick promotions, and conducting annual reviews that attempt to identify who is great and who is not-so-great. In this quest, top performers are found and elevated.
Then there’s the quest to create top performers. This quest is more boring. It involves creating systems and processes that ensure basic level performance, creating teamwork that creates better output than any one individual, having a positive work environment that fosters creativity, productivity and collaboration, and opportunity to express ideas and see them through without political ramifications.
The Manager by Designsm blog advocates for a new field called Management Design. The idea is that the creation of great and effective Managers in organizations should not occur by accident, but by design. Currently, the creation of great managers falls under diverse, mostly organic methods, which create mixed results at best and poor results at worse. This is the latest of a series that explores the existing designs that create managers in organizations.
Today’s design: Promote the one who asks to become the manager.
In this “design”, the person who asks for the promotion to manager is the one who gets it. You know the scenario: A member of the team consistently asks for the promotion to management in their one-on-one discussions; a member of the team states that they expect to be director by the end of the year; a member of the team self-identifies as the one with the most leadership potential.
Using this “design” to generate managers, the hiring manager skews toward the one who has the most moxie, drive, ambition, confidence, and apparent leadership ability. After all, let’s look at the opposite. Those who don’t ask for the promotion apparently have less moxie, less drive, less ambition, less confidence and do not appear to have leadership ability. Case closed—hire the one who wants it the most – the one who asks for it.
But what are the down sides of this design? Plenty. Read more
The Manager by Design blog advocates for a new field called Management Design. The idea is that the creation of great and effective Managers in organizations should not occur by accident, but by design. Currently, the creation of great managers falls under diverse, mostly organic methods, which create mixed results at best and disasters at worst. This is the latest of a series that explores the existing designs that create managers in organizations. The “design” we have now: Promote the top performer. Read more