One Minute Manager, the best-selling management book of all time, was written more than 25 years ago. Stop for a moment and think about the changes in the world for the last 25 years. It is a little confusing when you consider the depth and complexity of transformation for our everyday lives. The world has changed, and the world of work has certainly changed with it.
There are six categories we can look at that tell the story pretty well
You can instantly connect anytime and anywhere with just about anyone via your cell phone, Skype, the internet, PDA or even via your Twitter or blog. Blogs and pages like Facebook, which now have more than 100 million users, keep you connected to friends, family AND customers. Most days in 2008, 230,000% 2B new users signed up for MySpace. If it were a country, it would be the 11th largest in the world. The number of text messages sent each day exceeds the total population on earth. Not only is YouTube meant for teenagers, it’s a business tool with thousands of product and instructional videos. And you can be anyone you want to be in virtual worlds like SecondLife.com, where IBM holds internal meetings and Harvard now offers courses for credit.
You are now just one or two clicks away from answering almost any question. Your Morning Paper is now an RSS feed that goes directly to your PDA so you get the news you want all the time and even get alerts on information that is important to you (like sports results!). More than 2.7 billion searches were performed on Google in January 2008.
Wikipedia has become the largest reference site in the world, attracting nearly 700 million users in 2008. It is written in collaboration by volunteers from around the world. Today, there are more than 75,000 active contributors working on more than 10,000,000 articles in more than 250 languages. As of October 1, there are 2,581,268 articles in English.
Blogging has become a lifestyle for thousands of people. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati tracks more than 112 million blogs. There are more people with blogs today (31 million) than there was an Internet connection 10 years ago.
LinkedIn now has more than 24 million users connecting you with just about anyone you want to reach, and helping you reveal who works, what makes what.
Speed and size
Faster and less is also a new lifestyle today. Just when we think it can’t get any faster, it does. Direct sometimes feels too long, and mobile phone designers and manufacturers now face the dilemma of becoming too small. (How many of you have difficulty pressing the right buttons on your cell phone?).
It took 410 years to invent a copier from the movable type method. And only 20 to design the modern computer from the first mainframe.
Distance has been removed as a border. The teams can work around the clock. You’re in Paris … You decide to use your credit card. Getting credit approval involves a journey of 46,000 km over phones and computers … and in two seconds everything is done. If there is a minor hiccup in the system, the ten-second delay feels like forever!
Commonly regarded as the first modern computer, the ENIAC was built in 1944. It took up more space than an 18-wheeled tractor, weighing more than 17 midsize cars and consuming 140,000 watts of electricity. Computers are more affordable and more portable than they have ever been. Computing power is now 8,000 times cheaper than it was 30 years ago. If we had similar advances in automotive technology, today you could buy a luxury car for around $ 2.
The average consumer today carries more computing power on their wrists than existed worldwide before 1961. Look around. Is there anything that has not been significantly affected by technological advances?
Competition & Customers
Another important difference in our world today is the removal of access barriers for most companies and products. The ability to instantly share information around the world along with the ability to access them easily means that starting a business is less complicated than ever. Starting up garages is no different for their customers through the web than large brick and mortar structures.
Co-opetition is more common nowadays as companies, industries and products overlap. Sellers are also customers are also competitors. We constantly have to research and examine our views on who we serve and how.
Over a million products are available to the average shopper today. From the early 1970s to the late 1990s, the number of available vehicle models increased from 140 to 260. The number of Frito-Lay chip varieties increased from 10 to 78. Over-the-counter painkillers from 17 to 141 In January 2007, it was reported that there were 106,875,138 websites with domain names and content on them, compared to only 18,000 sites in August 1995.
And customers not only find products online, they turn to the Internet for every aspect of their lives. One in seven couples married in 2007 met online.
And finally, Generations and diversity
The United States has four generations at work for the first time ever. The differences in values, needs, wants and desires give us vastly endless perspectives on every aspect of our business, product and service.
Diversity, including race, age, ethnicity, political and religious beliefs, and gender is widespread in most communities and businesses, especially those in the United States.
So what’s critical about being a great manager or leader in today’s world? You need to have a more complete set of skills, skills and attributes. EQ (emotional intelligence) and IQ are critical – it’s not an either / or proposal. Today it is clearly one and / or both equations.
To keep up, a manager and manager need today DIE good at the following:
- Go back to the basics when everything around you leads you into complexity
- Make strategic planning for a lifestyle in your organization
- Set clear expectations of what excellence looks like
- Constantly communicate about your strategies and expertise
- Build a high-performance culture that supports your strategies and brings them to life
- Provide continuous feedback
- Learn constantly and learn
What’s left … What’s evolving
Certain aspects and behaviors of leaders and leaders that were important 25 years ago are still critical today and will probably still be important 100 years from now. These include acting with integrity, leading by example, developing talent and ensuring customer satisfaction / loyalty.
However, there are major differences between the old style of administration and instruction and the new idea of guidance and inspiration. Today’s leaders and leaders face a whole new set of expectations in the way they motivate the people who work with or follow them, setting the tone for most other aspects of what they do. People today not only want to be managed, in most cases they simply are not controlled. Today’s employee wants to be led. They want to participate and engage in every aspect of their job. Creating a two-way relationship is critical, especially considering that many knowledge workers today know more about what they’re doing than their boss does.
Another important shift for leaders and leaders today is the need to think globally. The impact of globalization has affected every aspect of business. Appreciation and exploitation of diversity is an additional shift that correlates with our world becoming smaller and smaller; the broad expansion of businesses spans the seas, cultures and religions. In addition to these actions and focus areas, leaders and managers today need to be more innovative and more proactive and anticipate problems and opportunities as well as brand new markets and products.
How do you follow up as a manager or manager today?
Focus on continuous learning and unlearning. There are virtually no jobs left that will remain the same over time and the demands of managers and executives continue to evolve. The really great ones are constantly learning and developing themselves, and they have the following characteristics in common. The:
- Like to master things. They are motivated and driven to constantly improve, knowing that they are not and should not be perfect.
- They are attentive and flexible. They may consider multiple perspectives to create general guidelines to help them understand what is around them.
- Focus on problem solving. They consider current issues from the perspective of doing things better against blame or concern. Their thinking is characterized by a balance in the ability to visualize what can or can be, and an effective day to day getting the right things done. They can distill complexity.
- Am self-conscious. They are constantly working to become even more aware of their own intentions as well as their influence on others. They admit mistakes and learn from them.
- Am specific, direct and honest with others. They expose any agenda they have and use good listening skills to really hear what others have to say rather than just plan their next response.
- Has a wide range of interests. They are really curious about others. They are able to easily compare while viewing and appreciating the complexity of the world.
- Think strategically. They are able to see, understand and appreciate the current state as well as see the possibilities. When dealing with today’s issues, they operate from a broad, long-term perspective rather than taking a narrow view or focusing only on short-term implications. They are able to gather information and make decisions in a timely manner.
- Is action oriented. They get things done and make timely decisions.
More than a minute provides a guide – I constantly find in the book that there is no real way to do all the things we talk about as important to success. There are pros and cons to almost any approach. Make sure that you make informed choices and that you are aware of the trade-offs.