Firefighting

Boxes and Arrows

Issue 6 and Volume 162.

BY ALAN BRUNACINI Last month we began to look at the steps in a basic management model that could help us first get through the front end of the change process and then with ongoing performance management. We used the reference “ready, aim, fire” to describe getting the steps in order. In an earlier life, I messed that order up (a lot) and sometimes had actually practiced a “ready, fire, aim” approach. Getting the steps out of order is a pretty common mistake of young, enthusiastic change agents who are anxious to get to the substance (i.e., “meat”) of the proposed change. Their enthusiasm causes them to jump into the middle before they take care of the beginning. Firing without aiming misses the target and can produce a lot of shrapnel for the change agent. Journeymen make it look easy because they don’t skip any of the steps; they always…

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