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New may not be good

The latest system

Today’s world is fast paced with computers going out of date in less than 12 months, new technology solutions materialising in communication and businesses equally wanting to move forward at a rapid pace.

This is exacerbated by a feeling of being ‘left behind’ if you don’t innovate in some way.
This puts pressure on managers to introduce people management systems that appear a quick fix but unsuitable for long term stability.

Many new systems come and go and are based on little more than personal experiences over the years.
Such wisdom has been wrapped up in a variety of packages, for example, ‘corporate culture’, ‘change management’ and ‘management by walking around’.

All of these methods may have their good points but is often easy to mess up what appears to be a good approach.

Multiple managers

There are many good managers in any organisation.
Ask each of these managers how they perform so well and they may well find their success hard to define; and when pressed would each come up with a list of different attributes.

In other words you will likely end up with a group of managers, all possibly good, but all with different methods of managing people.
Training new managers, within this sort of system, may become hit and miss.

We therefore need to have a system that is based a little more on science and collecting data that can be understood and utilised by all (see The Complete Leadership package).

What ever technique a manager uses it must support the overall values of the company.
Understanding how people behave is key to good management (see The Complete Project Management package).

Behaviour analysis

Systems are easy to create. Many managers will have a system that usually tries to control tangible areas, for example, cost control, inventory items etc. It appears to be easier to apply a ‘scientific method’ in these areas as there is something to ‘count’ and measure.
Many managers don’t believe that you can apply scientific principles to people.

This is not the case.
This ‘study’ of people is termed ‘behaviour analysis’.
The information that you derive can be applied to the workplace and is then called ‘performance management’.

The sum of this research into human behaviour has been built up over many years.
It is not unusual for individual managers to improve their own departments by applying some simple techniques.

Many managers may be naturally good at motivational techniques. Clearly, particular attributes are useful.
You won’t get very far if your basic character is unpleasant.

All activities in an organisation and many in private life involve people.
Maximising performance is best served by a better knowledge of human behaviour.


When a person carries out a behaviour a good manager would like to know what caused this person to act in this manner.

Invariably, the answer is sought in what happened to that person prior to carrying out the behaviour.
They look at the circumstances that the person was in and assume that this alone ‘drove’ the behaviour.

A person who is concerned with behaviour analysis will view this behaviour from the point of view of the end result.
That is, the individual is motivated to carry out a behaviour because of what will happen to them once they have completed the action.

In an extremely simple view this could be seen as the ‘benefit’ the individual will get from this behaviour.
The true picture is slightly more complex than this and will be dealt with in more detail elsewhere (see Consequences – part 1).

This final outcome of a particular behaviour is called the ‘consequence’ of the behaviour.

In essence, there are three parts to any behaviour.

  1. The circumstances prior to the behaviour.
  2. The behaviour itself
  3. The consequence of that behaviour.