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Principle of Duality January 14, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Management Principle.
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p5130012.jpg Duality? How can a manager demonstrate duality? The Big Dogz know that in order to get the most from your people, you must demonstrate duality. The Big Dogz are both flexible and fixed at the same time. Here is the Principle of Duality:

 Be flexible in process and fixed in end result. 

By flexible in process, I mean let them do it their way, on their time and at the place of their choosing. If they feel comfortable doing what you ask at home after dinner, then let them. Be as flexible as you can be within the constraints of your policies or compliance issues. One of the most de-motivating things you can do to an employee is to dictate how, where and when something should be done. 

Being fixed in end result means clearly defining the task for the employee. There are two major components of a task that the Big Dogz make a focus. These components are the form and the success factors.  

The form tells the employee what it is that you want — it could be a presentation, a list of clients or whatever you are asking. Whatever it is, make sure you specifically call it out.  

The success factors relate to the level of “goodness” desired by you. It includes some quality metric as well as a delivery time. By defining the success factors, you are insuring that the employee will deliver exactly what you want. In the absence of success factors, the employee will establish them.  

Many times the employee will significantly exceed your expectations and will spend much more time on the task than you really intended. They do this to impress you and they want to make you happy. Think about the many times your people have delivered a book when all you wanted was a chapter; or the times that you wanted a book and they delivered a chapter. 

The Big Dogz consistently apply the principle of duality when asking people to do things. It works for them and it can work for you. Here is an example of applying the principle of duality: 

Jill, I need you to create a list of all customers who purchased any deluxe widgets from us in the last six months. Please sort the list by number of widgets purchased, high to low, print it and deliver it to me by noon tomorrow.  

Over the next week, keep track of how many times you apply the principle of duality and how effective your results are. If you are getting effective results, add this valuable principle to your tool kit.  

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