Seventhman Blog

  1. Do You Manage or Lead Innovation?

    "innovation creativity"Sometimes, doing nothing is the right thing when it comes to giving your team the independence they need.  Managing an invisible workforce made it harder for businesses to trust their virtual teams to become more innovative.  The physical distance has become a great challenge where leadership and management is concerned.  The issue always come in how you can motivate your team to achieve their fullest potential.  How do you know that they’re working and committed to your business goals?

    Manage Without Managing

    I can’t deny that this is the age of creatives and geeks – of individuals who will push the limits of your imagination so you can come up with a cutting edge solution.  But with talent comes difficulty, especially on how to manage effectively.  You see, your talented crew may also be the most difficult to work with as they want autonomy far from the structured work environment that we see in the turn of the industrial age.  But, this doesn’t mean you can’t lead them.  You have to walk on a tight rope here and keep your balance, to make them feel that they’re part of a group while giving them the freedom to explore. It’s not easy.  Achievable? Definitely.

    When Conflict Meets the Creative Process

    You may disagree with me, but when teams are forced to face a conflict, they are more likely to come up with better solutions.  The key here is moderation.  If you’re open to the idea, instead of trying to control the leash on your people – let it loosen a bit and encourage civil disagreements on certain tasks.  Their independence will translate to inter-dependence as they try their innovative best to come up with the best fix.  Your team’s diversity may just be the missing link between failure and success.  Innovation becomes a fun, exciting quest for everyone then.

    Lessons I Have Learned in Working with Creatives

    To lead or to manage?  I’ve often asked myself this.  In my years of working with remote teams, I have learned that guiding them helps us all win.. than me having to actively manage people like puppets.  This doesn’t mean that there are no rules.  Instead, I focused on the bigger picture.  Boundaries are simply guides so everyone’s effort can complement each other’s.  Think of your team as a pack and you’re the pack leader.  It’s not about deadlines, but more on timelines.  Think about that the next time someone missed a milestone so you can address the issue, and not the person.

    If there’s one hard pill to swallow – it’s learning that there are better, inspiring ideas than yours.  It’s up to you now to listen, collaborate and open up avenues for creative conversation with your entire team.  You have the power to encourage everyone to think big and when they do, your appreciation will mean more than anything else in the world.

    Are you ready to give your team the freedom to fail.. so they can succeed faster?

  2. The Fine Line Between Project Managers and Project Leaders

    "project manager"There are no bad projects, only bad management. While I would love to debate on this line with a fellow entrepreneur over a cup of our favorite brew, it made me think of what really caused a project failure.  Is it really about lack of management.. or leadership?  While mistakes can often be time-consuming and costly to deal with, many projects often take longer to complete than what was expected.  When your project manager cannot consistently deliver on time and within budget, you begin to wonder:  Is it the people, the methods, the tools – or.. all?  While creating your own business may seem like a dream come true, know that in the rat race of the business world, your team is the greatest investment you can ever have.

    Looking Through the Eyes of a Successful Project Manager

    While I’d rather call them ‘project leaders’, a good project manager is someone whose passion for the job reflects in his/her every action.  This enthusiasm is highly contagious that it inspires the entire team.  Experience leading people to succeed is just one of the prerequisites.  The best project managers around have the gift of foresight enabling them to anticipate issues before they even happen.  They listen closely at what is going on right now, analyze things to the last minute detail, and communicate every milestone clearly to everyone involved.  They organize each goals to make sure work is done one step at a time.  The only difference perhaps is that great project managers trust on others to be successful.  Everything is about team work; not a one-man team.

    Project Management Mistakes Do Happen

    For the sake of the argument that ‘nobody’s perfect’, the hardest thing to do perhaps is admitting a mistake when it is done.  It is not just skill set that defines good management, but people skills as well.  This is why it is important to have a balance – from drafting realistic timelines, being flexible to change and ideas, consistent and clear communication, having an organized system to track progress, involving the team behind the project.. to being transparent.  Above all, that person needs to respect and trust every player to do their best.  Meetings can be noisy, no doubt, and it is the project manager’s job to stay engaged and motivate even the most shy of introverts to participate in the process.

    Quantifying Success Through Cost Effective Innovation

    Staying ahead of the innovation curve is a tough challenge for business owners.  Having worked in the IT field before transitioning to the business world, I’d say that failures do happen because the CEO has a different concept of success vs. that of the project manager.  This is why it is crucial to measure the success rate of a project by knowing if it is within schedule, budget and scope.  In the end, the quality of work will be the silent testament to it all.  All that effort done where the business landscape is concerned may be futile if you don’t have a blueprint to follow.  Project managers can always choose to keep the team happy, or struggle in misery.

    And if you ever have an awesome project manager right now, perhaps it’s time to give that person your appreciation.  It doesn’t cost much to say ‘Thanks for a job well done!’  The reward doesn’t have to be monetary all the time.

     

    Related Readings:

    Bridging Outsourcing and Innovation in the 21st Century
    Innovation: Managing Risks and Portfolios Explained
    Managing Virtual Teams: Five Keys to Success