"Everyone is against micro managing but macro managing means you're working at the big picture but don't know the details." ~Henry Mintzberg
"Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant." ~Colin Powell
As the old saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. When it comes to your operation, it is worth doing a deep dive into each of the smaller processes to make sure you DO KNOW what is going on. I personally look at a small process once a week. Over time you get a pretty comprehensive understanding of how things are functioning at a level only a micromanager usually sees without the negative controlling effects of your staff. This casual focus (we’re only talking one thing a week) on the details keeps the staff vigilant and you “in the know”.
What do I look for? Usually only three things: “How can it be made better” (quicker, easier, more impactful), “How can it help other areas” (duplicate process elimination, knowledge transfer and other synergies), and is the process consistent throughout the operation (you’d be surprised how many ways there are to do things). Typically I will sit/stand with three of my employees individually and have them walk me through how they do something. It’s important that I do it myself wherever possible to effectively learn and ensure they aren’t glossing over something.
This exercise has been crucial to me having a better understanding of challenges my staff faces and have the in depth knowledge to see where my department can improve and help the overall operation. So take one simple process, take a look at it this week, next week see if you can improve it while you take a look at another small process. I guarantee that if you look at three over the next three weeks, you’ll find those incremental improvements that can add up big over the course of months, quarter and years and reap the bonus of having a better understanding of your operation!