From the Ask Tom mailbag –
Can you talk about the difference between a dictatorial management approach and a collaborative management approach?
Execute like a dictator!
No kidding. Execution often requires precision sequences of skilled behavior. Execute like a dictator.
But to be effective at execution (like a dictator) requires two things.
- Collaborative planning
- Practice (perfect practice)
So, there is a time for collaboration and a time for explicit direction. And effective explicit direction does not (cannot) occur without collaboration in planning.
In football, collaborative planning is called skull practice. Off the field, in a room, no pads and no football. The group assembles around a chalkboard (whiteboard) and there are fierce discussions about problems and solutions, roles and assignments. At the end, even if there is disagreement among the players, they still pull together. People will support a world they help to create.
Skull practice is followed by perfect practice on the field, hours of it.
But, during the game, work instructions are short, often shouted, There is no time in the moment of execution to discuss who is going to carry the ball. But, effective execution only works when it is preceded by collaborative planning and perfect practice.