1-Minute Manager Mentality: The Root of most evil
Having the good or bad fortune to have been in Sales & Marketing for 30+ years, I've seen a lot of changes take place. Starting from the most-recent event and working back:
A. Multi-tasking has become magic solution to improving productivity and profitability -- in fact, people are actually quite proud of their ability to be on the phone and operating the computer at the same time. That's the good news.
The bad news is that a study has just been completed and the researchers found that:
1. The tasks were not performed very well
2. Even worse, the inveterate multi-taskers had a diminished ability to focus on any one task when that was the only one they were working on.
3. Being able to focus -- and think a situation through -- is what effectiveness is all about.
B. Corporations have been leaned down to such a degree that people are not only doing work at which they're trained and skilled, they're doing things they're not very good at -- just like me typing this article. It's not politically correct to say: That's a job for a typist, not a Sales or Marketing Manager, but it's true, and while the results aren't obvious, they are reflected in reduced revenues and profitability.
C. Management by Objective is the third "root of most all Sales & Marketing evils" when it comes to productivity and profitability. MBO a management strategy that's essential, but you have to be careful what the Objectives are and how they're achieved.
1. Having written more than my share of MarComm plans, there are plenty of times one of the objectives was "Increase inquiries by ten percent."
The objective was easily achieved by shoving out more press releases and placing fractional ads in "cut-and-paste tabloids." That assured lots of inquiry activity. But did these added inquiries do the company any good?? I don't know, but my intentions were worthy and I believed I was doing the right thing at the time. If the added inquiries weren't all that good, all I did was waste the time of the Sales Force and lessen their faith and interest in all those "great" leads I and my management were so pleased with.
2. In magazine publishing good Circulation is the lifeblood of the magazine. However, maintaining and building good circulation is labor intensive. A competing magazine was given the objective "Increase employee productivity." Calculating performance was simple: divide revenue by th number of direct employees. The Publisher's solution: "Outsource circulation." His numbers looked great at the end of the year an he got his bonus. During subsequent years the quality of his circulation went down, and so did ad pages.
The moral: Be careful what you measure. You may get it.