Introducing The New One Minute Manager

Today we congratulate Instigator Ken Blanchard and his co-author, Spencer Johnson, on the launch of their book, The New One Minute Manager. It is being released for sale today, May 5th.

While our world has changed substantially since the original One Minute Manager was published in 1982, this book reminds us that common sense and simplicity still play vital roles in successfully managing people.

Here are a few highlights that stood out for me:

One Minute Goals

One Minute Goals are the first of the book's three secrets to One Minute Management. A One Minute Goal should take no more than a paragraph or two to express, so it can be read and reviewed in about a minute.

The part of this section of the book that most struck home for me was the discussion of how to home in on a One Minute Goal. In the midst of the discussion, the leader who was explaining the One Minute Management concept explained that it was critical to think about the real problem, and not yourself.

This section made me recall times in my career when I had difficulty seeing past defensiveness and fear of how my choices would be perceived rather than the root cause of a problem. When I was involved in contact center work, a problem like reps spending too much time on the phone could easily lead me to feel backed into a corner.

The conundrum of call center work, though, is that it is more effective at times to spend longer on a call and achieve first-call resolution rather than to have a caller repeatedly call back, seeking a solution not achieved in the initial call because they felt rushed off by a rep under pressure to keep call length down. In these cases, the real problem was management's need to be educated on the effectiveness of first call resolution, not the fact that reps were taking too long.

One Minute Praisings

The second secret to One Minute Management is the ability to dispense One Minute Praisings. A One Minute Praising involves giving an individual specific feedback, as immediately as possible, about something they have done right.

Two parts of this chapter resonated with me:

    1. First, the phrase it's awful to have to wait to know how you're doing. The New One Minute Manager stresses the importance of consistent, immediate, feedback. Anyone who has ever sat in their office, knots in their stomach, awaiting the annual review which can make or break their career plans or convey the likelihood of a merit increase, knows it is no fun to be in the dark. This book provides a suggestion that can untie those knots and encourage positive productivity.
    2. Secondly, there is a conversation about the One Minute Manager who is so admired by everyone. He does not have the newest equipment. He actually has some of the most outdated equipment. As a parent, I have spent many a wasted breath trying to explain to my son that better equipment, such as for speed skating, won't make a difference if he isn't putting in the training work. I have heard countless people, including myself sometimes, say this would be so much better if we had new equipment or in some other way blame unsatisfactory productivity or conditions on not having the best equipment. Success lies much more in the outlook of the people than it does in the condition of the machines.

One Minute Re-Directs

One Minute Re-Directs are the new name for the previous One Minute Reprimands. This chapter provides the companion concept to catching people doing things right. Since of course errors and mistakes occur in business, it is critical to have an efficient and clear way to handle these errors and mistakes when they occur. One Minute Re-Directs provide specific information about the problem to be solved, allow the staff person to process what was said, and reinforces the individual's inherent worth as an individual and team member.

I can't say that I have ever had a supervisor who practiced a true One Minute Re-Direct. I know there are issues I had when I supervised people that could have had more positive outcomes, for me as the supervisor and them as the employee, if I had applied these principles. Hesitating to address an error or mistake never brings that error or mistake closer to resolution.

I have two favorite passages to share with you, after which I will simply encourage you to find out for yourself by visiting the book's site and considering buying it.

I loved the reminder that the number one motivator of people is feedback on results (page 55).

In addition, I wholeheartedly occur with this sentiment:

I invite you to visit to learn more about the book, download a sample chapter, and explore more of the New One Minute Manager concepts.

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