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  • Writer's pictureMark Dickinson

Misconceptions of Micromanagement

Some consider it brilliant, while others view it as a curse.

Mark Dickinson, founder of DONE! Hospitality Training Solutions, busts the micromanagement myths.

For a clear definition of micromanagement, you can simply check Google, where millions of articles can be found on the subject. The volume of data might make you think that there is an upside to this management style, but is that true?

It is clear that capable, experienced people do not need their work to be micromanaged — something that seems to escape some managers. Trustworthy performers do not generally need someone involved in their every step; what they require is the opportunity to share what they are doing, time to talk about how they are doing it and the chance to share their brilliant ideas. Get in their space, interfere, ask too many questions and like a gecko on the wall, they will run away faster than you can catch them. Brilliant people and micromanagement are like oil and water.

On the other end of the scale are those who think that micromanagement of their people puts them in charge, secures them from anyone in their purview outshining them and generally holds a team’s performance at an “average of the mass.” These are insecure people with trust issues. Their fear drives them to think up elaborate conspiracies, and they generally lose a lot of time gossiping and engaging in useless activities. An insecure manager will frequently default to micromanagement as it prevents subordinates coming up with ideas that will supposedly make the manager “look bad.” I hope that at this point you are rolling your eyes and thinking: “Seriously?” Sadly, it is true that there are those whose default is to operate on the basis of low trust and a constant need to be in charge.

So micromanagement: what is it for and how can it work successfully to contribute to the growth of an organization to attain excellence? Micromanagement is the core of excellence. However, it is not the aforementioned kind. There is a triumphant, glorious sort of micromanagement that is rare to find in this generation.

Micromanagement means management of the tiny, as micro means very small. It encompasses the details that shine in the hospitality business (probably any business, actually): refined touches that please and inspire customers to talk about your product. These details can only be delivered through processes, and these processes are the result of very focused thinking and consistent, persistent concentration on the micro.

The desire to ensure that a product is made exactly to a standard and presented to a customer as perfectly as it is displayed in the company brochure; now that is micromanagement. Getting into the details of every single step in a process, from start to finish, is a worthy task for any manager. Identifying the exact steps and words that should be used and the precise procedure that should be followed is important. It’s the fractions of a second that make the difference between a champion and a runner-up. If you want to be an award winner, a champion or the best of the best, then micromanagement of processes and systems is the way to go, digging in deep and discovering every tiny step and producing the best processes that will ensure that your customers get precisely what you and they dreamed of from every single experience with your business. When you do that, your team will become those who are obsessed with being the best and they will take the time to begin their own search for excellence.

Micromanagement? Yes! Bring it on

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