The analytical side of management behavior

Observation #32

carpedia-observation-32We’ve mentioned before that of the four perspectives we study when we analyze a business (product, process, system and behavior), one is significantly more complex than the others and subsequently takes much more time to change. That one is behavior.

We tend to zero in on management behavior, as opposed to employee behavior, because we find that management behavior is critical to a well-run organization and, in turn, significantly influences employee behavior. Management behavior is, very simply, what managers do during the course of the day. In a broad sense, they actively manage others, train staff, do administration and some in-process work and, of course, fix problems as they come up. But until they actually spend some time observing and categorizing these activities, most managers don’t have a very good sense of how their time is divvied up.

Therefore it’s very helpful to have a proper analysis of how your time is spent — and then to have a model that prescribes how that time might be spent more effectively. This takes the generally vague notion of “behavior” and gives it some analytical structure.

The tricky part about this is how behavior profiles (and models) change by industry and company, and within companies by their organizational hierarchy. How front line managers allocate their time is naturally significantly different from how corporate executives allocate theirs. But understanding the current and desired profile at each organizational level can be very helpful in making sure that your organization is aligned and optimizing its valuable management resources.