When micromanagement works

From Tomasz Tunguzblog:

Effective management depends on the situation. At the highest level, there are four basic situations:

Low motivation, low skill: The person hasn’t been placed in the right role or hasn’t been able to understand how to be effective within the company. It’s time for the company and employee to part ways.

High motivation, low skill: the most typical state for an employee to be in after he has been hired or promoted. He is excited and energetic but unfamiliar with the particulars of the job, or the company, or the culture. Somewhat counterintuitively, the best management technique in this situation is micromanagement… The best way to do this is by frequent check-ins, updates, and feedback. Applied this way, micromanagement provides the employee very fast and very short learning cycles. Each day, the employee receives a mini-review of his work. Within a few weeks, the employee have learnt quite a bit and become productive.

Low motivation, high skill: aka burnout… A manager ought to put this employee “out to pasture” for a week or a few weeks, meaning allowing her to work on self-directed projects or projects of passion to recharge her motivation.

High motivation, high skill: The best management advice is to get out of the way.

The risk of micromanagement? You can cause employees to fail through The Set-Up-To-Fail Syndrome, and it drains too much management time to be scalable.

One thought on “When micromanagement works

  1. Pingback: How to manage someone who is missing their goals | A Founder's Notebook

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