Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Part IX: Insanities in Business


When something goes wrong in your business, you probably want to solve it. There is a little-known tendency, though, that you may have fallen prey to at one time or another. It is to over-correct. Over-correction is a very specific action which creates the opposite of the intended effect. It creates more problems.

Imagine how you would feel if you were told to increase your customer base by 5% and you did it. Then, you were told that the way you went about it was incorrect, that you should have tried this method or that method. That you should have called Bob in Accounting. And why didn’t you check with Ingrid in HR before you sent out that email? You achieved the goal but were over-corrected on insignificant details. A manager who does this will end up being labeled a “micromanager” (or worse), not because he was pushing a direct report to get something done, but because he corrected the WAY in which things were done.

Give your employees some freedom to do things as they want to do them. Only ask that they deliver and help them sort through any barriers or stops. Don’t overcorrect. You will both be happier and more productive.

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