What is common between wireless router and team management?

It seems these two are totally different things but it is surprising to know that the problems faced in both of these are quite similar and the solutions and learning from one of these areas can be applied to the other. 

A common question which comes to anyone’s (manager or executive’s) mind when they get company/team to manage is, how do I evaluate where my company/team stands (overall) and how do I boost its performance? Commonly found known effective measures are:
company/team culture,
motivation, goals of company/team, reward & recognition frameworks etc. In most of the surveys for company or team these are looked upon and necessary action items are derived and planned year after year to improve performance and engagement in company/team. Some factors in corporate world are inherently easier to measure than others. For example, an objective such as “Improve Revenue” or “Operation Margin” is fairly easy to measure, whereas other strategic objectives such as those related to Internal Business Process, Learning & Growth Perspectives have been historically more difficult to measure. Traditional measures of factors such as market success are significantly lagging indicators. Companies sometimes rely too much on such lagging indicators. These measures look back at what has happened in the past and cannot be improved. Here’s an example: counting the number of heart attacks in 2002 cannot influence or predict the number of heart attacks in 2012. Cholesterol levels and dietary habits can predict numbers of future heart attacks, and if we change these metrics, then we can change the number of future heart attacks.

There are numerous business models in practice with their own set of limitations. These are either too analytic or complex and missing on normative measures, or too normative and does not define expected behaviors at different levels. Some of these quantitative models do measurement for measurement’s sake. Like For example, Sir George Mallory climbing Mount Everest, these models count things because they are there, because we these can be counted can and because it’s is easy. Also, a lot of credibility is placed in Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Surveys seldom reflect a representative sample of customers and they are easy to cheat on. It’s easy to send surveys only to the customers you know will give good marks or to write survey questions in such a manner that you will get only good results. A survey can be conducted on people who might give favorable results or the questions of the survey can be framed in such manner so as to achieve desired results.

Most of these models fail to measure how work group dynamics are affected by the management changes, and suggest implementing measures without first predicting what behavior will occur in response. There was an IT (Information Technology) company that measured the “speed of resolving issue” or “message processing efficiency” – the number of customer ticket/message processed in a day. Message processing in day measure was so important that it was the major determinant of employee’s performance rating, promotion and bonuses. The “top performing” team made sure to deliver more messages to customer in a day. This helped the company to showcase its efficiency in resolving customer message faster which they thought would lead to overall great customer satisfaction. While doing so they encouraged employee to deliver more which lead to less testing of software for side effect and not testing complete scenario. Software developer started delivery message resolution much faster by only testing the issue customer reported and not looking into end to end testing or drilling further to find out side effects. This resulted in customer getting more issue at production due the earlier fixes provided by the company. Clearly in this case the “message efficiency” was important for the IT Company but this lead to poor quality index of product.

The results of a multivariate analysis indicate that organizational performance can be well explained by some intangible organizational elements (managerial capabilities, human capital, internal auditing, labor relations, organizational culture, and perceived organizational reputation) and the interactions among them. This signifies the need of a new model which is empirical but not complex and part normative, and establishes relationship between group dynamics and management behaviors.

It is surprising that an unusual analogy, with ways of boosting wireless signals can be mapped to broaden the understanding of the core skills, initiatives and
positioning, which are needed by the teams (require) to boost their performance. With this analogy model, teams and management will be able to measure and improve their skills, visibility and performance; therefore, helping them to achieve higher levels of innovation and success. Good management knows how to count, but smart management knows what to count.

To elaborate further, below are the detailed co-relation of each solution for low signal wireless problem.

  1. Position It Better – Position your team or company better in terms of improving visibility and branding of company or team. This would help in improving motivation of employees and enables them to grab the opportunity and make most of it when the opportunity strikes. This would help employees being recognized more and make them feel proud to be associated with the brand of the company.
  2. Change The Default Channel Of WIFI – Change the way of working, don’t get encircled or entrapped in a default or set way of working. There is a famous saying “There is always a better way of doing things”. This technique promotes innovation/working differently culture. Companies in America are by default
    setup to work in American way of thinking which might not be the way for the Hispanic consumer. Companies adapting the change in economic in America and considering the buying power of Hispanic can take advantage with growth in revenue.
  3. Update The Firmware – With the speed of innovation, products are produced and launched in a shorter duration. Companies have to adapt to these trends to stay or move ahead in the market. A team or company cannot stay in market with existing level of knowledge (process/technology/product) and it is essential to be updated in skills, product, process & technology. This enables company to be a driver of innovation and future technologies. It enables team with better alignment with company’s future strategic directions for the market.
  4. Buy Equipment From The Same Company – Utilize and optimize your own strength. This technique serves multiple purposes :
    1. Utilizing in-house product and saving efforts of re-work.
    2. Building in-house expertise.
    3. Improving internal consumption to advocate company brand.
  5. Check/Replace Antenna – A common pitfall for any product or service is failing to understand the business objectives of stakeholders. A team or a company should plan effectively to provide well suited service or product to your their stakeholders/customers. This requires company or team to be pro-active and more receptive to stakeholder. Market has seen the movement of mobile phones from being a (phone) voice calling/communication/telephonic device to smart phone. Companies captured the need of customers and provided them with smart phones which not only caters to the need of phone call but also other needs such as photography, games, map, video, search, etc…
  6. Add Additional WAN – Create enthusiasm or energy from the team or company which would add further strength to itself (your team or company). For example other teams are willing to join in the team initiatives. Similar to creating a viral strategy. In cases of a company one should create energy or enthusiasm in partner companies to help them boosts its performance. In case of company enabling and encouraging partner company they get immediate help with sales/revenue and the speed of innovation grows tremendously with Partner Company embracing the platform/technology. One good example of this has been Microsoft which has leveraged its partner network to create profitable and unique business.
  7. Try Weird Things – Team or company should always do weird things which might help to be ahead of other team or company. This might directly impact the performance and thereby inculcates a culture in which employees are not afraid of failure of trying weird things. Lots of innovation or new ideas get encouraged and can impact the performance to unimaginable heights. In the current economic situation trying weird idea become much important in all aspects of organization such as recruitment, team management, product development and services.

To further expand on the thought of evaluating or knowing the current as-is and latter monitoring the progress, recommendation is to define a framework around the concept of wireless way of management.

To elaborate further, each activity or task under the above parameter which are causal in nature and define the point system for the same. Framework allows the weight-age (preference) of parameters, which would help in prioritizing.

Thus, the model is highly flexible and scalable as team or company can choose their own tasks, parameters and define the weight-ages according to their own priority and relevance.

Team or company performances have both controllable and un-controlled parameters and the analogy model mainly described about the controllable parameter and structuring them to gain performance boost. This Wireless way of boosting the team or company not only helps in boosting the performance but also forces executive and management to structure each wireless parameter into actionable activity which can be measured quantitatively and tracked well.

Original Idea and Co-Writer : Mr Sudhir Verma

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