Harvard Business School - Project Management Manual

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					RICARDO SEMLER'S GUIDE TO STRESS MANAGEMENT                                                              STRESS MANAGEMENT                   (CONTINUEO)

  There are two things all man-             emergency is actually permanent.             least70% as well as I can? Yes?Then       can happen if I throw this out?" If
agershave in common-the 24-hour             Stop being a cork.                           farm it out. Whether or not your          you don't tremble, sweat, or grow
dar and the annoying need to sleep.           4. No onee/secando it right. The           subordinates are overworked should        faint when you think of the conse-
Without the sleeping,24 hours might         truth is, you arereplaceable,as every-       notweighin your decision.Remember, quences, toss it.
                                            one will discover within a week of                                                       This second wastebasket is a crit-
be enough. With it, there is no way                                                       control of your time is an exercise
                                                                                          in selfishness.                          ical investment, even though you'll
to get everything done. After years         your funeral.
                                                                                             Pile C: Items that fall under the     never be able to fill both on a reg-
of trying to vanquish demon sleep             5. This problemis urgent. Come on.
and the temptation to relax, I tried        The real difference between "impor-           dubious rubric "a good idea to look ular basis. Keep it anyway. It has a
an approach suggested by my doc-            tant" and "urgent" is the difference           at." One of the most egregious exec- symbolic value. It will babysit your
tor, who put it this way: "Slowclown        between thoughtfulness and panic.              utive fallacies is that you have to in-basket and act like a governess
or kiss yourself good-bye."                   Those are the myths. The second              read a líttle of everything in arder     every time you wonder why you
  Struck by this imagery, I learned         step is to master my eight cures:              to stay well-informed. If you limit      bought it.
to manage my time and cut my work              l. Set an hour to leave the office          the number of newspapers, maga-            5. Ask yourself Sloan's question
load to less than 24 hours. The first       and obey it blindly. If you nor-               zines, and internal communications       about every lunch and meeting invi-
                                                                                                                                    tation. Don't be tímidoAnd practice
step is to overcome five myths:             mally go borne at 7:00, start leav-            that you read regularly, you'll have
  1. Results are proportional to efforts.   ing at 6:00. If you take work borne            more time to do what's important-        these three RSVPs:                   .
                                                                                           like think. And remember to keep            "Thanks, but I just can't fit it in."
The Brazilian flag expresses this           on weekends, give yourself a month
myth in a slíghtly different formo          or two to put a stop to this perni-             your reading timely; information           "1 can't go, but I think X can." (If
"arder and Progress," it says. Of           cious practice.                                 is a perishable commodity.               you think someone should.)
course, it ought to say, ."Order or            2. Take half a dar, maybe even an               3. In dealing with Pile A, always        "I'm sorry I can't make it, but do
                                                                                            start with the most difficult or the     let me know what happened."
Progress," since the two never go           entire Saturday,to rummage through
                                                                                            most time-consuming. It also helps          Transform meetings into telephone
together.                                   that mountain of paper in your arrice
  2. Quantityof work is moreimpor-          and put it in three piles.                       to have a folder for the things that    calls or quick conversations in the
tant than quality. Psychologically,            Pile A: Priority items that require           must be done before you go borne         hall. When you hold a meeting in
this myth mar hold water. The exec-         your personal attention and repre-               that dar and to make a list of the       your office, sit on the edge of your
utive who puts in lots of hours can         sent matters of indisputable impor-              things that simply cannot go undone      desk, or when you want to end the
                                                                                             for more than a few days or a week.      discussion, stand up from behind
always say, "Well, they didn't pro-         tance. If you put more than four or
mote me, but you can see how un-            five documents in this category and              Everything else is just everything       your desk and say "OK, then, that's
                                                                                              else.                                   settled.", These tricks are rude but
fair that is. Everyone knows I get          are not currently the president of
here at 8 A.M. and that my own              your country, start overo                           4. Buy another wastepapér basket.     almost foolproof.
children can't see me without an               Pile B: Items that need your per-              I know you already have one. But if        6. Give yourself time to think.
appointment. "                              sonal attention, but not right away.              you invited me to go through that        Spend half a dar every week away
  3. Thepresentrestructuring requires        This pile is very tempting; every-               pile of papers on your desk, I could     from your office. Take your work
longer working hours temporarily.            thing fits. But don't fall into the trapo        fill both in a trice. To help yO\! borne, or try working somewhere
We think of ourselves as corks on                                                             decide what to toss and what to          else-a conference room in another
                                             Load this stuff on your subordinates,
a mountain stream headed for Lake            using the 70% test to help you do                 save, ask yourself the question         office, a public library, an airport
Placido But the lake ahead is Loch           it. Ask yourself: Is there someone                asked by the legendary Alfred P. waiting room-any place you can
                                                                                                                                        concentrate, and the farther away
Ness.   The    present,    temporary         on my staff who can do this task at               Sloan, ]r.: "What is the worst that
                                                                                           MANAGING WITHOUT MANAGERS. 131

 fram your officethe better. The point    seconds with their letter and then    ignorance. In an immense production unir, people fed
 is, a fresh environment can do won-      give it to the governess.             tiny, nameless, and incapable of exerting influence on
deIs for productivity.Just make sure       Twoancillary bits of phone advice:   the way work is done or on the final profit made. This
you bring along a healthy clase of       Ask your assistants to take detailed
discipline, especially if you're work-                                          sense of helplessness is underlined by managers who,
ing at halle.                            messages. Ask them always to say       jealous of their power and prerogatives, refuse to let sub-
                                         you cannottake fuecallat fuemomento
   7. About the telephone, my prac-                                             ordinates make any decisions for themselves-sometimes
                                         (Depending on who it is, your assis-
 tical but subversive advice is: Don't   tants can always undertake to see if
                                                                                even abolir going to the bathroom. But even if size and
return calls. Or rather, return calls
                                         you can't be interrupted.)
                                                                                hierarchy can be overcome, why should workers care
only to people you want to talk te.        8. Clase your door. Oh, 1 know       abolir productivity and company profits? Moreover, even
The others will call back. Better Jet,   you have an open-door policy, but      if you can get them to care, how can they tell when
they'll write, and you can spend ten     don't be so literal.                   they're doing the right thing?
                                                                                    As Antony Jay pointedout back in the 1950s in Cor-
                                                                                poration Man, human beings weren't designed to work
                                                                                 in big groups. Until recently, our ancestors were hunters
      we work at the high end on quality and price. So our                       and gatherers. For more than five million years, they
      critics mar be right. Perhaps nothing we've done can be                    refined their ability to work in groups of no more than
      a blueprint for anyone else. Still, il) an industrial world                abolir a dozen people. Then along comes the industrial
      whose methods show obvious signs of exhaustion, the                        revolution, and suddenly workers are trying to function
      merit of sharing experience is to encourage experiment                     efficiently in factories that employ hundreds and even
      and to plant the seeds of conceptual change. So what                       thousands. Organizing those hundreds into teams of
      the hell.                           .
                                                                                 abolir ten members each mar help some, but there's still
                     HOT AIR                                                     a limit to how many small teams can work well together.
                                                                                 At Semco, we've found the most effective production
         The first of 5emco's three values is democracy, or                      unir to consist of abolir 150 people. The exact number
      employee involvement. Clearly,workers who control                          is open)to argument, but it's clear that several thousand
      their working conditions are going to be happier than                      people in one facility makes individual involvement
     workers who don't. Just as clearly, there is no contest                     an illusion.
     between the company that buys the grudging compliance                           When we made the decision to keep our units small,
     of its work force and the company that enjoys the enter-                    we immediately focused on one facility that had more
     prising participarían of its employees.                                     than 300 people. The unir manufactured commercial
         But abolir 90% of the time, participatory management                    fooGl-serviceequipment-slicers, scales, mear grinders,
     is just hot air. Not that intentions aren't good. It's just                 mixers-and used an MRP 11system hooked up to an
     that implementing employee involvement is so complex,                        IBMmainframe with dozens of terminals all ayer the
     so difficult, and, not uncommonly, so frustrating that it                    planto Paperwork often took two days to make its way
     is easier to talk abolir than to do.
                                                                                  freID one end of the factory to the other. Excess inven-
      We found four big obstacles to effective participatory                      tories, late delivery, and quality problems were common.
    management: size, hierarchy, lack of motivarían, and                          We had tried various worker participarían programs,

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