7 Activities and 27 Actions for the Highly Effective Manager / by Dennis Britton

1. Establish teams

  • Hire based on character first
  • Provide team space that encourages collaboration
  • Allow for natural team formation and growth such as Shu Ha Ri and Form/Storm/Norm
  • Provide basic process that facilitates the flow of value like Lean Kanban and Scrum
  • Groom teams and individuals using pairing and just in time training for full-stack, cross-functional, build-anything teams
  • Provide opportunities for teams to manage interdependencies
  • Prevent cherry-picking and poaching by the rest of the organization
  • Establishing working conditions that draw or generate the kind of talent and productivity needed


2. Establish Process and Culture

  • Aim for a balance of creating sustainable teams and delivering customer value
  • Consult with advisors and thought leaders to discover areas of improvement for the greatest impact
  • Support team-informed decisions on standardization of tools, technology and process
  • Host lunch and learns, conferences, workshops and trainings
  • Sponsor newsletters and articles
  • Remind leadership how the competition is using these processes to win in the marketplace


3. Advocate for the team

  • Listen and respond promptly to issues raised in team retrospectives
  • Defend the invaluable assets of sustainable teams and processes when budgets or deadlines threaten


4. Establish Customer Connection

  • Sponsor a Customer Advisory Board
  • Ensure feedback from customers gets the timely attention it deserves


5. Bridge Product Groups, Departments & Specialties

  • Create events and seed cross-functional teams to unify Design (UX), Business (Sales and Marketing) and Engineering (Dev, Quality, Tech Support , IT)
  • Prioritize features and products across programs


6. Align Values with Actions

  • Choose which customers to serve and products to build which best support the company mission


7. Model Servant Leadership

  • Invert the usual command and control methods, listen to the people doing the work about the needs of their work, then decide and act.
  • Provide a safe environment for learning and empirical experimentation
  • Removing impediments to flow of value (and information for that matter)
  • Provide a counter-force to local optimization, reveal the system to itself
  • Allow them semi-autonomy to exercise their own leadership