Archive | Mary Poppins on management RSS feed for this section

First Hour At Work

7 Jan

Recently a colleague sent me a link about productivity. It wasn’t very good but the link at the end was filled with good ideas about how to start your workday. Remember what Mary Poppins, my favorite organizational consultant, says “Well begun is half done.”

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Mary Poppins On….

22 Jan

 

 

Leadership, management and personal competence. At Christmastime, Disney Studios released a charming movie titled “Saving Mr. Banks.” The plot of this movie is the culmination of Walt Disney’s 20-year quest to obtain the movie rights to “Mary Poppins” from P.L. Travers. The product of this plot is one fine movie, if you’re a Mary Poppins fan.  The story is a great metaphor, particularly for personal competence.  For more go to Mary Poppins On….

for a charming 3 minute video see Mary Poppins #1.

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

Axioms #9: The Poppins Principle

28 Sep

“Do you want to do this fast… or do you want to do this right?” is an important question.  If the answer is fast, then let’s do it fast as possible so we can get to fixing it as soon as possible.

Mary Poppins is a great story/video full of information about how to become a better manager. 

One of her best is “Well Begun Is Half Done.”  In brief, getting anything off to a good start improves the likelihood of success.  Odd thing, some people seem to often start off in a hole, then neglect another aphorism: If you are in a hole, stop digging.

When we look at complex systems this principle seems to be magnified many fold. Chaos theory states that small perturbations in initial conditions within complex systems (people and organizations are complex systems) can have enormous impacts at a later time.

Remember the 5Ps: proper planning produces premier performance.

Beyond Luck is now an e-book on Amazon.  At $6.95 it’s a great deal.


Mary poppins #2

22 Nov

The Poppins clip is popping with incisive information about good management practice.

1. Mary arrives on site with a clear Purpose.  She has received a letter from the children asking for a nanny but she knows what they are asking is to fix a broken system – their parents. This could be a new project, a promotion, the development of a new process etc. etc. etc.  For Mary it is a turn-around.

2. With her carpetbag she quickly redefines the environment and takes control, in a soft way, of the situation.  She is proactive and the children are no longer running the show.

3. “Never judge things by their appearance” lets the children know that first impressions are important but should be treated as estimates, not facts.  She has not judged, they can influence her opinion through their behavior.  First impressions are hypotheses, if wrong they may drive negative expectations.

4. “A thing of beauty” communicates a useful aphorism and lets the children know something about Mary.  She intrigues them – she doesn’t frighten them.  Managers take note – fear is a usually poor place to start with people.

5. She then measures the situation thereby identifying the issues and establishing a baseline to measure progress.

6.  Measuring herself makes an explicit promise about how she will behave and engages the children in the process of change.  She is going to do it with them, not to them.  The children know, as do employees, what “practically perfect” means.

7. Mary uses magic to focus and maintain their attention.  Managers also have a form of magic – it’s called respect. Unfortunately it doesn’t work as fast as Mary’s magic but it is just as effective.

The explicit and implicit lessons are powerful. Mary knows why she is there, what needs to be done and shows how she will do it.  Through her behavior she drives the emotional context.  The children are inspired. Sounds like leadership to me.

“Well begun is half-done” indeed.  Spit-spot.

Mary poppins #1

17 Nov

Mary Poppins is a great consultant.  She floats out of the sky and changes complex organizations – families.  One of her excellent pieces of advice is “well begun is half done.” Think about all the situations you have been in (meetings, projects, new product or service launches, new initiatives, new hires etc. etc. etc.) that got off to a bad start because no one  prepared properly. And how difficult, if ever, it was to overcome the bad start.  5P = proper planning produces premier performance.

I thought I might catch your attention using the brief clip of Mary below, but when I saw it I was impressed at the density of useful management ideas. Take a look, can you identify what these are?

There are so many it’s easy to miss some.