What is Active Management anyways?

Active management is arguably the most important management behavior. It is the link between front-line workers and management and it is a critical behavior required to coordinate resources and execute plans. It is also very uncommon.

Active management entails setting clear expectations, assigning work, and following up in order to identify variances and performance issues. This type of manager-employee engagement doesn’t happen very much. After observing managers in a wide variety of industries we found that on average they spend only about 5 minutes a day actively managing.

Four conditions are necessary for a leader to successfully actively manage:

  1. You need a schedule
  2. You need to know how you’re doing against the schedule
  3. You need accountability to the schedule
  4. You need good interpersonal skills

Active Management is not common and it takes a great deal of effort on all parts to install. However, the benefits of active management are a more engaged work force, a culture of accountability and innovation, and better business results.