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The Dummy's Guide to Management for Idiots (Part II)

by Norm

Didn't learn enough from Part I?  Here's more about how you, too, can be an effective manager at work, and in real life.

As  Joe The Manager (from this point on, your official title), you not only have to be constantly managing all these animals in your kingdom (in case you haven't, please see Part I of this article), you also need to take individual responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of your company financial reports, your expense reports, your Sarbanes-Oxley reports, and employee evaluation reports (my wife gives me one at least once a quarter, just for spite).

So while, with one hand,  you are busy slaughtering the turkeys, feeding the foxes, nurturing the weasels, shooting the rattlesnakes, trapping the hyenas, placating the bear and servicing the pig, your other hand holds a calculator checking the rounding errors on the company balance sheet.  And don’t look now, Joe, but the government just raised your taxes! 

With so many complex issues on your plate, how do you go about creating efficiencies and staying on top of it all?

Six Sigma:  The Answer To Your Problems

Our friend Jack Welch has a second management philosophy as deceptively simple as it is Darwinian – every year, simply fire the bottom 10% of your workforce.  It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that in 10 years time, your company will have exhausted all its bottom performers, and will be left with just the top performers - that is, unless you neglected to keep hiring people, in which case, there will be no performers. 

But how do can you tell the top performers from the bottom performers?  Simply put, you need a measuring stick - and that stick is call Six Sigma.  This is Jack Welch’s greatest innovation brought to life at GE. 

Six Sigma is a process by which defects and errors are identified and eradicated, without mercy.  Six Sigma was originally conceived for the factory floor, but has since been extended to other types of business processes and just about any situation you can think of.  In fact, I recently deployed Six Sigma at home with highly satisfactory results.  My wife was quite skeptical at first, but now she swears by it.  We can proudly claim that, using the Six Sigma methodology, our two children were successfully downsized.  They now sleep in the garage where we have set up an outplacement office.

It's All In The Numbers

Like baseball, Six Sigma is very statistical, which is to say, tedious and boring.  So let's cut to the chase.  The bottom line is the grading system which ranges from One Sigma (31.0000% efficiency) to Six Sigma (99.9997% efficiency). Knowing that the people who manage most efficiently rise to the top of the organization and the people who have the lowest number of Sigmas get fired, the goal for you, Joe The Manager, is clear:  Pay off the Sigma evaluator to certify your performance as Six Sigma, thus propelling your own career, which is all any good manager should care about. 

Paying off the evaluator, is not going to be all that difficult, given that he or she is most probably a weasel or a fox whom you have been nurturing and/or feeding all this time, anyway.

To Sum It Up

In my experience, this is pretty much all you need to know to be an effective manager.  At least it’s everything I know.  In fact, I would strongly recommend attending one of my management workshops where, after a few days of survival training in the Gobe Desert, you, too, will say, "I am, therefore, I think I manage."  You'll also say, "Boy, am I thirsty!"  Happy managing!

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