10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-30-11

Recently Steve Minter of Industry Week interviewed a range of people for an article he titled 10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them.

The ten traps he lists are:

1. Not ‘Nipping it in the Bud’

2. Squelching the Flow of Bad News

3. Doing Drop-Down Work

4. Spending Too Much Time on a Problem Child

5. Delaying Decisions Until it is Too Late

6. Letting Employee Enthusiasm Fizzle

7. Failing to Delegate

8. Losing Touch

9. Turning People into Cogs



10. Giving Only Negative Feedback

Of the things I shared with Steve, Doing Drop-Down Work is what made the cut. Here’s the excerpt:

Are you doing the work called for in your current job or are you doing the work that you mastered in your previous assignment? For many managers, the temptation is to take the promotion but keep doing what is familiar. “The comfort zone is my last job and the new one is usually less comfortable,” say Jamie Flinchbaugh, a lean consultant and contributing editor to IndustryWeek. “So the president does the work that the VPs should be doing and the VPs are doing work that plant managers should be doing and so on. They ‘drop down’ a level to do the comfortable work instead of the right work.”

Flinchbaugh said once this issue is recognized, it is important to clarify roles. Companies can use tools such as a responsibility assignment matrix, or RACI matrix, that spells out roles in terms of Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. Notes Flinchbaugh: “It is as important to design people out of the process as designing people in to the process.”

I recommending going to check out the rest of the article.

What would you put on the list of top management traps?