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Book Review – Putting The One Minute Manager to Work

PUTTING THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER TO WORK

[A practical guide to improving performance]

By Ken Blanchard and Robert Lorber

Harper Collins Publishers, 2004

ISBN 0-00-710962-8

I am not a fan of sequels or spinoffs; they rarely are as good as the original book. The One Minute Manager series, however, is one I can never tire of. Putting the One Minute Manager to Work is a companion volume to The One Minute Manager.

The One Minute Manager, first in a series of concise and easy-to-read books, tells the story of a young man who set out to find an effective manager and learn what made this person tick. He learns three important secrets from The One Minute Manager: “One Minute Goal Setting”, “One Minute Praisings” and “The One Minute Reprimand”.

When I first picked up this book I wondered how it would be different from its prequel, and whether it was even necessary considering the impact of the first volume. I quickly found that this book had a very valid objective; demonstrating how to turn the three secrets learnt in the first book, into skills for successful management.

The first secret, One Minute Goal Setting requires that a manager take out time at the beginning of each new task or responsibility to outline what exactly is required from the employee in charge, and define good performance clearly. This exercise is done on a single sheet of paper that should take no more than one minute to read. After this, the employee is left alone to handle the task.

The second secret demands that a manager try to catch the employee doing something right, at which point he would deliver a One Minute Praising, which is basically giving crystal clear feedback that lets the employee know what they are doing right, and letting them feel your joy.

The third secret involves taking a minute to let an employee know when they have done something wrong, and allowing them to feel your annoyance, frustration or whatever you’re feeling.

If you find it hard to believe that mastering the three secrets are all it takes to become a good manager and increase your productivity, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the authors agree with you. Therefore, the original message is expanded, and we learn that four systems need to be set up in an organization if a manager must reap the benefits of One Minute Management.

The accountability system must be in place ensuring that employees know what they are being asked to do. The performance data system, which details what good behaviour looks like, is an absolute necessity. The feedback system that lets employees know how they are doing, and the recognition system that outlines the rewards of good performance, are the third and fourth components of a winning organization.

In this book the authors go into detail, showing how to make the secrets produce actual results by turning theory into practice. The ABCs of Management — Activator, Behaviour and Consequence — give detailed education that brings the three secrets to life. The PRICE system — Pinpoint the Performance, Record Current Performance, Involve People, Coach for Performance, and Evaluate Progress— is a method that, when properly practiced, ensures maximum productivity that goes beyond just talk.

Putting the One Minute Manager to Work is meant to be a companion to the original book. Although it is a practical tool that can be used independently to implement the three secrets, having read The One Minute Manager made the experience of reading this book richer and more meaningful for me.

This book demonstrates practical day-to-day application of the One Minute management techniques to improve performance, productivity and profits. The core message of the book is that there is no quick fix; the keys for successful management are conviction and consistency. Being a good manager requires sincere commitment.

If you enjoyed The One Minute Manager, then I guarantee you will find Putting the One Minute Manager to Work a handy tool.

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Joy Ehonwa

Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at] yahoo.com

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