Introducing the Source Manager's Journal

June 12, 2006 — Starting this week, the Source will publish Dr. Frank Schneiger's Source Manager's Journal a series of columns dedicated to finding solutions to the difficult organizational problems that affect government, most businesses and non-profit organizations. The columns will appear weekly in the Source business section, starting today. Each column will focus on a specific issue that is known to be an important "source of pain" to organizational leaders and managers. At some point, we all say, "I hate this job." The column will address those issues that make leaders and managers hate their jobs from time to time.
In most cases, these columns will not be about "strategy" or "how to be a great leader" or "the ten sure-fire rules for certain success." They will be about managing organizations and people for success and the "nuts and bolts" requirements for achieving that success. The only "new new things" that readers will find in these columns will be time-tested and proven methods that they may not have known about before. Based on long experience, if you apply the lessons and "tools" contained in these columns, your organization will be stronger and the work environment will be measurably improved.
The subject "menu" for Source Manager's Journal is not a random list. It contains those items that leaders and managers have told us keep them awake at night, take the joy out of their jobs and reduce their organization's effectiveness. In a lot of cases, people become so accustomed to these problems that they become a negative part of the organization's culture. For example: "We often hire the wrong people." "Our meetings are boring and worthless. Nothing ever happens." "When I delegate something, I usually get a bad outcome. I'm better off doing it myself."
The columns will flow from an assumption that Virgin Islands organizations, public, private and non-profit, face variations of all of the universal problems and issues. Some may be more or less prevalent or severe. For example, hiring the wrong people is always a costly mistake, but it is probably more costly in the Virgin Islands because job protections are so strong.
The first column will start at the beginning: in the mind of the manager. It will answer the question: how does an effective manager think? As in almost all cases, the column will supply a "tool", a self-assessment checklist that gets at the key ways in which successful managers think: in a "linear" and strategic manner; supportively, and politically in the best sense of that term.
Future columns will be devoted to: "Dealing Effectively with Difficult People and Poor Performers", "Making and Implementing Decisions", "Keys to Effective Project Management", "Conflict Management: Good and Bad", "When and How to Delegate", "People: Making Them Better Than They Think They Are", "How Bad Meetings Hurt You and How to Improve Them", "Communication as a Basic Function", "Trust and Other Keys to Effective Teams and Working Groups", "Building a Focus on Achievable Results and Accountability for Achieving Them" and "Key Time Management Problems of Leaders and Managers and How to Solve Them." I hope that some of these ring a bell, and I would be surprised if they didn't.
Editor's note: Dr. Frank Schneiger is the president of Human Services Management Institute, Inc., a 25-year-old management consulting firm that focuses on organizational change. Much of his current work is in the area of problems of execution and implementing rapid changes as responses to operational problems.

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