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POP² Management

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POP² Management

Remember “management by objective?”

In the early years of my own management career, management by objective was the single-minded battle cry for business. It was a time when we took certain things for granted, like the hard work ethic of our staff; with few exceptions, dependability and reliability was pretty much a workplace-entry given.

Little wonder that most of our efforts were directed toward process improvement, with the Total Quality Management movement sprouting in very fertile ground. “P” always stood for process, not people.

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Today it’s a whole different ballgame.

Say “TQM” and most young managers will look at you and say, “What?” Mention Jack Welch, or Six Sigma and you might get a little closer to their glimmers of recognition. The interest doesn’t last all that long though, because it’s too much process obsession to swallow: We’re in a generation that expects a shorter learning curve— and a much shorter process run.

We still love easy-to-remember acronyms though, and they remain golden for learning focus. We coaches love ‘em, for they can become mantras that drive consistency in organizations. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world uses them —that just makes them business-speak. What matters is that everyone in the organization does. It mobilizes them and unifies them.

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In my neck of the business woods, the one I’ve used with a few customers recently to help them focus is something we’ve been calling POP² management.

P— People concerns come first; staff, customers, all stakeholders. And people are values-driven today, perhaps more than they have ever been.

O— Objective is still important: What we call it now, is usually vision, mission, and strategy. Ultimately, all of those things are people-driven.

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P²— Process is still important too, for we can’t ignore task, the transactional stuff of our businesses. However it is Purpose-driven Process. We have no patience for any other kind.

What POP² helps me coach leaders in, is management strategy with this simple focus, but crucial recognition: People expect more today, which means they expect more of you as a manager.

When you go back and break down each component of POP² you can easily see how the attention span and wanting of people filter all through it. Values and our innate need to make some meaning of our lives filter all through it.

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Management by objective? Not enough today, not by a long shot.

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Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. For more of her ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com

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Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Innovate with Form and Function

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2021

20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

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20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

“Please describe yourself in a few words”.

It’s the job interview of your life and you need to come up with something fast. Mental pictures of words are mixing in your head and your tongue tastes like alphabet soup. You mutter words like “deterministic” or “innovativity” and you realize you’re drenched in sweat. You wish you had thought about this. You wish you had read this post before.

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    Image Credit: Career Employer

    Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that describe you the best.

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    “I am someone who…”:

    1. “can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into stepping stones for achievements.”
    2. “consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into projects, and projects into serial success.”
    3. “has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of competitive advantage.”
    4. “always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is the only real guarantee for results.”
    5. “knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.”
    6. “has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with some suggestions for how to improve your services.”
    7. “has a pragmatic approach to things. I don’t waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: ‘Does it work or not?'”
    8. “takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.”
    9. “can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.”
    10. “is considered to be ‘fun.’ I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save the day.”
    11. “works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is best for the company.”
    12. “is completely autonomous. I won’t need to be micromanaged. I won’t need to be trained. I understand high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.”
    13. “leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from the others than what I expect from myself.”
    14. “understands the complexity of advanced project management. It’s not just pushing triangles on a GANTT chart; it’s about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds.”
    15. “is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote THE book on the subject.”
    16. “communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important factor to reach an efficient organization.”
    17. “works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and it’s contagious.”
    18. “has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just one tiny detail? Hire me and you’ll be sure I’ll find that detail.”
    19. “can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.”
    20. “is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. That’s me. “

    Featured photo credit: Tim Gouw via unsplash.com

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