Friday, March 5, 2010

Management is common sense

"The good news is that the first steps to becoming a really great manager are simply common sense. . . Put simply, things normally go wrong not because you are stupid but only because you have never thought about it before." -- Gerard Blair quoted in Immunity to Change by Kegan and Lahey.

How do we develop common sense? Are we born with it? Do we learn it at home growing up?

"Common sense" is culture- and situation-specific. Every business, industry, organization, country, religion, and group has its own defined characteristics of common sense. For example, everyone knows it is idiotic to wear white mittens. Who knows? People who grow up in deer-hunting country.

We can develop common sense in our work environment by:
1) taking courses related to our industry and position
2) listening to those who are successful in that environment -- pay attention to what they say and do. How do they solve problems? How do they make decisions? How do they persuade decision-makers?
3) reading critically reviewed publications regarding our industry and position

How about you? How did you develop common sense?

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