Managing by the Numbers

The Cost of Diversity

The cost of diversity (COD) is significant. Diversity without effective management causes:

  • Chaos    
  • Confusion
  • Conflict
  • Tension
  • Controversy
  • Suspicion
  • Faultlines

In short, diversity without effective management is a productivity and performance barrier. The desired outcome (the value proposition) of a diverse workforce is not just having a broad mix of people, or in treating each as a valued member of the team; 

The Fruits of Diversity Management

If we are deliberate and strategic about diversity, we see irrefutable evidence that relevant, well-managed diversity has clear, line-of-sight impact on results.

  • Improves performance
  • Promotes innovation
  • Increases creativity
  • Creates efficient decision-making
  • Accelerates complex problem solving
  • Raises productivity
  • Speeds progress
  • Engenders trust

Diversity is the essential ingredient. And, it only works for us when we deliberately manage it. When managed effectively, “diversity trumps ability

What is Diversity Management?

Diversity management is a strategy and a capability to get the best from any mix of employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in order to achieve organizational objectives.

Do We Manage or Lead? 

Let’s again define our terms. Leadership provides direction and promotes motivation to achieve an outcome. Management is the catalyst that converts motivation into behavior and accelerates performance.

Managers do the day-to-day, face-to-face, one-on-one work of increasing and accelerating each employee’s productivity.

Leaders are more detached. They rally all the people to a compelling future, constantly pointing the way, but not equipping people to succeed.

Unfortunately, we have come to a time when we are over-led and under-managed.

Managing by the Numbers attempts to provide balance to our reality. 

Think Tank Principles

The leading practitioners in the fields of diversity management, innovation, high performance, change management, complex problem solving, leadership, and human capital management agree on these foundational principles. 

  1. People deserve dignity (respect, value, encouragement, confidence) at work and will freely give their best effort when they have it.
  2. Organizations are more likely to win when all employees are fully engaged and dedicated to the success of the enterprise.
  3. There are diversity implications in every aspect of organizational life. Seek them and you will find them.
  4. Managing diversity simply means managing people effectively.

The 3-4-7-12-28 Solution

3 Critical Beliefs

This is the only known technology that allows a manager to actually create (not just evaluate and monitor) high performance levels in employees. It is based on conditions that a manager can actually change and is 100% validated as a means to get top performance from any and all employees. It is simple and doable by any manager who wants to be a great manager.

The three critical beliefs that can be created, adjusted, managed and which convert motivation into effective behavior include:

  1. B-1   I Can Do It! (Confidence)
  1. B-2   My performance will be rewarded. (Trust)
  1. B-3   I will like the way I am rewarded. (Satisfaction)

4 Phases of Manager-Employee Relationship

The most important relationship at work is between an employee and his/her immediate manager. That relationship has a life-cycle, which when managed well, always produces dignity and a more satisfying work experience for the employee and greater results for the manager. They are:

  1. Bringing Them In
  2. Helping Them Win
  3. Helping Them Grow
  4. Letting Them Go.

Any manager who wants to be great must manage this life-cycle with each employee.

7 Requirements for Effective Management

Managers can manage performance by affecting what each employee believes about their work.  Managers must also manage what they believe and what they do. Years of research and observation of great managers indicate that the ability to adapt to the unique needs of each employee while managing your own preferences, biases, stereotypes, and reactions is a requirement for managing people in a diverse workplace.

The affirmations that create great managers include:

  1. Believe they can. I believe every employee can give 100%. It is my responsibility to help them do it.
  2. Get to know them.   I bear the greater responsibility for developing positive relationships with my employees.
  3. Manage yourself. I am responsible for understanding and managing my own bias, prejudice, stereotypes, and reactions to differences.
  4. Adapt your style. I must adapt my style and behavior to get the best from each employee. (Not the other way around)
  5. Use your power.   I have the power and ability to provide what my employees need from me.
  6. Ask!   Each employee knows how he/she wants to be treated. If I want to know, I have to ask.
  7. Be fair.  I understand that treating people equally does not mean treating them the same.

12 Elements of Great Management

If you can remember what it was like to be at your best; to fire on all cylinders; to be in your groove; to give 100% and get extraordinary results, you probably can remember a manager who, by their behavior, allowed you to have that experience. The best summary I have found (that supports my own research and observation) is the 12 Elements outlined by The Gallup Organization. Here is what great managers do to create breakthrough performance by employees.

  1. Provide clear expectations
  2. Give them what they need.
  3. Use their talent.
  4. Recognize their good work.
  5. Show them you care.
  6. Encourage their development
  7. Value their opinion
  8. Make them feel important.
  9. Demand quality work from everyone.
  10. Promote friendship at work.
  11. Report their progress.
  12. Help them grow.

Source: The Gallup Organization

There is specific methodology to creating breakthrough performance in a diverse workplace. Managing by the Numbers covers all of it.

28 Questions to Assess Effective Management

Want a quick checklist to determine if you are exercising great management skills with all your diverse employees? Here it is. Make a regular habit of reviewing these questions and honestly answering them. Start by getting clear about your response to Questions 1-3. Nothing matters until you know the power of your role in the noblest position in organizational life.

Here are the questions:

  1. Can you distinguish between managing and leading?
  2. Why have you accepted the noble calling of managing people?
  3. Would you prefer to be recognized for getting results (directly) or getting results through other people?
  4. Can you name your best employee?
  5. Can you name your worst employee?
  6. Do you sometimes treat them differently? Why?
  7. Do you expect more from one of them? Why?
  8. Do you have frequent one-on-one meetings with all your employees?
  9. Are they all comfortable sharing their needs and concerns with you?
  10. Can you tell at least one personal story about each of them? Can they all tell a story about you?
  11. Did you have an initial deep dialogue with each employee when you first started working together?
  12. Are you aware of your biases?
  13. Do you know when you tend to prejudge?
  14. What are your hot buttons (things or situations that cause you to react strongly)?
  15. Do any of your employees belong to a group or exhibit behavior that triggers a reaction in you?
  16. What major adjustments have you made for any of your employees?
  17. How have other employees responded to you giving preferential treatment to any of your employees?
  18. List three reasons it is important to give “preferential treatment”.
  19. How much position power do you have?
  20. How much personal power do you have?
  21. When have you used all your power to help solve an employee problem?
  22. When have you used your boss’ power to solve an employee problem?
  23. Have you ever made a decision for an employee without getting their input?
  24. What have your employees told you that affect the way you treat them?
  25. How did you ask your employees for guidance on how to be the best manager possible for them?
  26. How do you define fair? How do your employees define fair?
  27. Which definition do you defer to?
  28. Give one example of when you knowingly treated an employee fairly and the employee was delighted with the treatment. What made it work?

About the Course

Managing  by the Numbers – 2 days, 15-25 people, propitiously priced

Designed for first line supervisors up to and including C-suite executives.

For the last fifteen years Jim Rodgers has advised clients on how to use the principles of diversity management as a catalyst for superior business performance.  The simple message is this, “manage all people effectively and the promise of diversity management will be fulfilled”. The growing complexity of the workplace is confounded by globalization, ever-increasing human diversity, systems and process integration, mass customization, economic woes, the rise of developing nations (BRIC, etc.), and radical, disruptive technology. The one common denominator is people. Regardless of culture, economics, or geography, people all need certain things in order to function and produce at their best. Managers are the catalyst that unleashes the potential of all employees for the good of the enterprise.

Managing by the Numbers offers relief from this dilemma. Based on  the groundbreaking book, Managing Differently: Getting 100% From 100% of Your People, 100% of the Time, it lays the foundation for recognizing that effective diversity management begins with effective management of people in a diverse environment. It provides perspective, tools and simple rules that guarantees any manager better results upon completion of the learning and practice. The 100% imperative for the 21st century requires better balance between leadership and the hard skills of managing people.