At a recent talk about the Career Ladder posts, someone asked this question:
Can managers pair effectively?
That's a great question.
Some managers job-share. However, they don't work simultaneously on the work. One person works for a couple of days. That person then hands off work to the other person.
The handoff might work in a couple of different ways. The most common way I've seen is when people speak with each other for a short timebox as in Standup or Handoff. Depending on the intricacies of the decision-making, the handoff might include other people as in Handoffs Are Not a Bad Word.
However, job-sharing is not a pair of managers working together. Managers work sequentially when they job-share.
However, managers don't create products. Managers create the culture—the environment—where everyone can succeed. That's different work than product work.
What's the equivalent of collaborative work for managers?
The peer cohort. Especially for faster decision-making.
Create Your Peer Management Cohort?
This image is from Practical Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization.
You don't have to change your org chart to create peer management teams.
In this image, the first-level managers create their peer management team. And the directors create their peer management team.
Yes, each management level creates its peer management team. Those peer management teams solve problems across the organization. (See Create Your Peer Management Team for Fun and Profit (and to Solve Problems.)
When managers create their peer management teams, they can create a better environment:
- They can define and work towards an overarching goal (as in the Modern Management Made Easy books.)
- The benefit of having that goal? Everyone works toward that one goal.
- And because they work together, they can reduce management decision time.
You might think of this collaboration as managers mobbing around a decision.
We can extend the ideas of pairing and mobbing—highly collaborative work practices—to managers. However, managers perform different work, so they collaborate differently.
If you don't have a peer cohort now, what would it take to create your peer management team cohort?