We measure return on the capital investments we make, there is an extensive, well understood, widely used set of tools that offer a framework for the calculations, most of us would be lost without them.
However, whilst we all know in our guts that there is a set of practices that together we would call great management, and the businesses they run are better than those run by “ordinary” management, there are few tools available. Trouble is, articulating what make great management has been a qualitative process, significantly informed by hindsight.
So what are the characteristics of superior management?
Seems to me there are three characteristics, that are all the result of extensive sets of individual and group behaviour:
- A well executed strategy that differentiates in a manner customers value
- The management team is a cohesive, but questioning bunch of trained, intelligent people who have a strong sense of team competitiveness. This characteristic is reflected in the groups that exist at all levels of the organisation.
- There are appropriate measures that drive continuous improvement throughout the organisation
For comparative purposes, the Worldmanagementsurvey.org site carries an extensive database with the results of a multiyear, multinational academic survey that offers an opportunity to benchmark management performance. It offers an opportunity to start the process of identifying the behaviours that lead to superior performance by management.