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Archive for May, 2011

One of my favorite things about working here at Precision is that we practice  Manage By Wandering Around.  (MBWA as Introduced by Peters/ Waterman in the book, In Search of Excellence)  While the authors were doing research for the book they interviewed HP President John Young who explained what the term meant and its importance to HP especially during times of explosive growth.  Reflecting back on the concept of MBWA and first learning of its meaning Peter’s writes, “MBWA … Managing By Wandering Around … quickly became our favorite “excellence” idea! Technically, it meant staying in direct touch (damn the bureaucracy!) with the folks who do the work. Metaphorically, it stood for all/much of what was wrong with American management—McKinsey & Harvard Business School-style—as we confronted the Japanese challenge in areas such as product quality. That is, “big business” had become an abstraction. It was a “by the numbers” affair, where front-line “personnel” were pretty much interchangeable parts in a well-oiled “machine” and where “strategy” was considered far more important than primitive ideas such as quality and service and turned-on folks. Of course by then the bearings had lost most of their oil and seized up!”

Ok, I know what you are thinking and you are right, we’re not a giganto conglomerate that has thousands of people working for us at multiple locations!  Yes, this is true, but what is even truer is that on a daily basis small companies must fight against losing their nimbleness, effectiveness, and..well, their human touch.  We believe in measurement and standards, but not at the expense of losing touch and becoming irrelevant.  We believe in knowing our employees, not intrusively, but in such a way that they know they are a valuable member of our team.  We believe in getting out of our offices and wandering around.

Nobody in our company does this better than our President, who regularly practices MBWA and often times finds himself in the middle of lending a hand to one of our employees.  (And on occasion our customers)  There is no substitute for MBWA; it is the lighthouse that steers the small business away from the shoreline of irrelevancy that it is headed for.  Engage in MWBA today…seriously, get up and go wander!

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