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It can sometimes be difficult to find effective management tools that showcase your leadership skills. If you are looking for management development innovations to incorporate into your unit or organization, then look no further than Valve Software, a software development company with a unique management vision.

Rather than the typical organizational structure, Steve Kramer and Teresa Amabile of the Harvard Business Review describe how Valve “employees have almost complete autonomy.” Basically, employees have the freedom to design their own projects without receiving assignments from managers. If an employee has a great idea and can get support from their colleagues, then the project is likely to take off. Managers ask their employees how they can help, rather than watching their employees’ every moves and expecting strict adherence to their own agendas.

Kramer and Amabile, while impressed by this successful business management model, acknowledge its impracticality in larger corporations or in other industries with higher project costs. However, they do see some crucial take-home management development tips to help anyone interested in leadership innovation in any industry.

Management Development Tips

1. “Articulate an inspirational mission”

Research shows that employees are more efficient and engaged if they are working on projects that are personally meaningful and if they feel like that work is important. Excellent leaders should articulate and communicate a mission statement that inspires their employees to do their best each day.

2. “Adopt a mindset of ‘checking in’ with your subordinates rather than ‘checking up’ on them”

Employees perform better if they feel valued and trusted, if they have room for creativity and innovation. Constant micromanagement hinders those goals. True leadership innovation demands a more collaborative approach in which managers ask how they can help out with a project and share their own current successes and challenges with their employees. According to Kramer and Amabile, the bottom line is that “checking in is really about collaboration; checking up is about suffocation.”

So how can you implement this innovative management development in your business? Hire great people and trust them to do the job you hired them to do, with your guidance as needed. Ultimately, “what people want most from their jobs, beyond equitable compensation, is the opportunity to succeed at meaningful work.” Give your employees that, and your management is certain to succeed.


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