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The directing the affairs of a business organization -- guiding, leading, envisioning, regulating its course, controlling, administering, perpetuating, developing capability, getting things done, effecting organizational and business performance, etc.

The science and art of getting things done.

See management profession for Peter F. Drucker's comments on the managers' profession as paraphrased from Alfred P. Sloan.

Management functions --
The functions of management include the planning, organization, directing, and controlling to achieve an organization's objectives.

  • Planning has many levels -- from establishing the organization-wide objectives and goals to tactics to daily activities.
  • Organization deals with aligning resources and objectives in order to achieve the plans - again at all levels.
  • Directing involves the assignment of people to work to accomplish the goals. This includes the motivation and guidance of the workers.
  • Controlling involves assessment of activities and the correction of those activities not achieving the desired results. Control is initiated with the establishment of performance standards, communicating those standards, and measuring performance against those standards.

Defining these factors of management beg the question - what is leadership?

Management vs. Leadership --
""Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."" - Peter F. Drucker

""Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing"" (Bennis, W. and Nanus, B., (1985), Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge, Harper and Row, pp 21). This is a direct appeal to the vanity of corporate leaders, but it gets worse. While managers may be fixated by a concern with moving the organization along historical tracts, the transformational leader is ""causative... can invent and create institutions... can choose purposes and visions... can create the social architecture that supports them... can move followers to higher degrees of consciousness, such as liberty, freedom, justice, and self-actualization"" (Bennis, 1985, pp 218). From Pettigrew, 1987, pp 653).

Management - directing others in the pursuit of ends using means, both of which have been selected by the manager. Leadership - guiding, encouraging, and facilitating the pursuit by others of ends using means, both of which they have personally selected or the selection of which they approve. Following the leader is voluntary, with enthusiasm and dedication. Source: Russell L. Ackoff, Ackoff's Best, 1981, 1999 p283

John Kotter's Management vs. Leadership -- Kotter, 1996, 1990, pp26

Management --

  • Planning and budgeting -- establishing detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, then allocating the resources necessary to make it happen.
  • Organizing and staffing -- establishing some structure for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing that structure with individuals, delegating responsibility and authority for carrying out the plan, providing policies and procedures to guide people, and creating methods or systems to monitor implementation.
  • Controlling and problem solving -- monitoring results, identifying deviations from plan, then planning and organizing to solve these problems.
  • Expected result -- Produces a degree of predictability and order and has the potential to consistently produce short-term results expected by various stakeholders (e.g. customers, always being on time; for stockholders, being on budget).

Leadership --

  • Establishing direction -- developing a vision of the future - often the distant future - and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.
  • Aligning people -- communicating direction in words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed so as to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies and that accept their validity.
  • Motivating and inspiring -- energizing people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change by satisfying basic, but often unfulfilled, human needs..
  • Expected result -- Produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential to produce extremely useful change (e.g. new products that customers want, new approaches to labor relations that help make a firm more competitive.

Essence of Management - Jack & Suzy Welch --
Source: That's Management!, Business Week, FEBRUARY 19, 2007

Question: Since there is such a bias in the markets for short-term results, how can you prepare for the long term? - Wayne Abernathy, Washington, D.C.

Answer: In a word, that's management. Balancing the demand for quarterly results with the pressure for a profitable future is what good managers do for a living. Sorry if we sound exasperated, but every time we hear this question, we wonder: What do you think you were hired for? You were hired to wrestle a paradox-and pin it to the mat. And not just once, but over and over again.

Look, anyone can manage for the short term. Just keep squeezing the lemon, wringing out costs until there's nothing left but the pulp. And anyone can manage for the long term. Just keep telling people: ""Be patient. Our strategy will pay off in time."" The mark of a leader is someone who has the rigor, vision, and courage to do both simultaneously.

Take the example of managing people, a true short-long balancing act. Of course you want to motivate your team to deliver immediate results. You can do that with incentives and rewards, clear goals, and a passionate attitude about winning-the more passionate the better. But you can never stop thinking about developing your people, too. That means sending them to internal training programs or outside courses, giving them different experiences and stretch assignments, and encouraging them to take risks. Those activities may not deliver instant results, but they're an investment in the future that you must make.

It's the same story with managing r&d. Obviously, you need to fund projects that will improve and expand your existing products. That's usually money well spent, with relatively quick and certain returns. But some portion of your budget also needs to be earmarked for the kind of research that will deliver results in several years. Now, how much should go to each investment bucket? Your call, boss.

Perhaps the most common managerial balancing act has to do with marketing. With one phone call, you can take the easy way out and cut your advertising budget 20% to 50%. That will drop the savings right to the bottom line, with no sales impact for a quarter or two and no blood spilled in terms of programs or people. But what about the long-term hit to market share and brand? That's the judgment call, and you're the judge.

Work requires dozens of decisions a day, but yours is the über-question of them all. As a manager, you'll spend your career answering it.

Toyota Management (Source: Jim Womack, 4/42007 email to subscribers) --
And at every level Toyota needs to teach its managers to utilize these concepts by going to the gemba. There, they need to lead by asking questions about -

  • the true business problem,
  • the current condition causing the problem,
  • a better condition (that is, a better process) that could address the problem,
  • who must do what when to achieve this new condition (the future state), and
  • what evidence will show that the problem has been addressed.

This means managing the organization's value-creating processes (value streams) by asking highly informed questions rather than managing results at the end of the reporting period. (The latter is simply another form of end-of-the-line quality inspection.) And it means avoiding a resort to orders on what to do next when matters seem to be getting out of hand.

Issuing crisp orders is the natural instinct of any boss. Indeed, most bosses seem to think that by virtue of their experience and authority, they should be able to solve any problem lower in the organization. But orders from the boss rather than informed questions take away the lower-level managers' responsibility for solving problems. They start a vicious circle in which lower-level managers wait to be told what to do by higher-level managers who are much further from the gemba where value is created and who inherently have less - not more - knowledge of the best thing to do.