lean management

Lean PowerPhrase: How do you want the process to operate?

PowerPhrase IconIf you manage the means instead of the result, a powerful phrase for you is:

  • How do you want the process to operate?


Managing by results asks about outcome. What are you trying to accomplish? Managing by means asks about the process that acheives the outcome, and is one of the secrets of Toyota’s competative edge.

You can read more about managing the process here.

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Manage the Process

Wendy Mack’s fall newsletter asks: which of the following tools is the most powerful for motivating employees?

  • Support for making progress
  • Recognition for good work
  • Incentives
  • Interpersonal supportwendy_mack
  • Clear goals

If you’re like ninety-five percent of managers, you believe recognition for good work has the most impact on employee motivation. But Harvard University has proven that support for making progress is the greatest motivator, particularly for scientists, engineers, programmers, marketers, and other knowledge workers. Managing by objectives, which puts the focus on outcome, misses the opportunities of managing by means (Profit Beyond Measure, Thomas Johnson). Focusing on progress motivates – but requires skill and comes with a warning… continued

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