Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Problem With Reactive Management

The Problem With Reactive Management

Firefighting is sometimes essential during a rush, or as part of a short period of change. However, it can have serious implications when it becomes the norm.

First, reactive teams are likely to deliver lower quality work. You may be able to fight fires successfully most of the time, but you will sometimes fail – in a way that you wouldn't if you were more proactive.

It's also likely that you'll need to shift your team members from one task to another, or ask them to deal with constantly changing information. This is inefficient, it can leave them frustrated, and they may start to look for more satisfying opportunities outside your team.

Your individual performance will fall, too. It's hard to find the root causes of problems when you have to focus urgently on symptoms. Plus, you're less likely to spot the strategic opportunities that proactive managers exploit, because you don't have the time and mind space to see them.

Reactive management is also stressful. When you deal with one crisis after another, you don't have time to unwind. You may be able to cope with this pressure, but your team members may be less resilient.

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