Managers play a critical role in the lean sales and marketing organization. It’s different from we think in the traditional organization.
In the traditional organization, there’s the belief we work for our managers. We all know the corporate hierarchy and pyramid. In too many organizations, managers spend too little time coaching. They are busy in meetings, they are busy with paperwork, they don’t have time or the skills to work with their people. Too often, they look for blame, rather than understanding and solving problems.
In the Lean Sales and Marketing organization, the pyramid is inverted. The role of the manager is very different.
In lean organizations, Managers serve their people. Manager’s create the work environment that enables people to perform. The manager removes barriers that impact the ability of sales people to do their jobs. Manager’s develop and design processes that maximize performance. They determine the tools people need to perform at the highest levels possible. They make sure people understand what their job is, that they are trained and understand how to do their jobs. They constantly coach and develop their people’s capabilities.
When there are problems, managers, step in to identify the problems and remove them. When problems occur, they don’t blame the people and find fault with them. They look for problems in the process and try to remove them. “Beating up” people doesn’t solve the problem–it disrespects the people and creates waste.
To be successful, the manager must know the job their people must perform. They must be able to do it well themselves.
All the way up (or in the lean perspective, down) the hierarchy, the role of the manager or executive is to serve their people.