I believe a significant part of the role as a manager is to improve the processes, systems and environments the team work in.
If you hire great people (which you should) then you basically want to leave them alone to do their work.
In many organisations though there are barriers to people getting stuff done. Be these out-of-date processes, bureaucracy, technological challenges or stale thinking, and a whole load more beside.
It’s a manager’s job to break through these barriers, find ways around them, lower the barriers or remove them entirely. It’s basically about removing the nonsense.
But how does a manager remove the nonsense?
There are many ways to study. Try to find the approaches that work for you and your company.
Here’s what I do (it may help you):
- I observe the work and the people doing it. I can learn a lot by observing.
- I document, doodle and map what I see.
- I listen to what people have to say (I believe the people doing the work know exactly how to make it better).
- I ask critical questions about the work.
- I try to approach a problem from many sides. (trying to avoid bias and hear all potential paths to an improvement)
- And then I improve the work.
Studying leads to knowledge. And knowledge helps me to make better decisions.
Knowledge also helps me and my team move faster. But…
Knowledge can only be gained by studying.