Gary Scherling writes, "Yes you have to win and be successful. The
concern I'm noting is your perceived 'management of management'. If your
management needs managing from below, as you've indicated, is this a model
for future and long term success?"
"Or am I out in left field with my own perception of what you've said!"
Gary, you are asking a very good question. You are asking if the
management of the news given to senior management is a good thing or a bad
thing. There is a fine line between managing and manipulating, and the
outcome depends entirely on the integrity of the person doing the
managing. I am optimistic enough to believe that in general manipulators
lose in the long run.
My first question of myself is, are we 'managing' management, or are we
communicating the facts? Yes, we may push a successful project in order
to balance that success against another failure, but since I believe in
achieving a certain ROE (return on experiments), I would do that anyway.
Also, if we had an Experiment Auditor, he or she would verify exactly what
we tell senior management. There are no lies, exaggerations, or half
truths. We manage the timing of success, just as companies manage the
timing of recognition for financial successes and failures. I believe
that a successful balance in a regular time frame is a good thing to
achieve. I want to communicate to senior management that we have achieved
Finally, my management is not at all stupid. On the contrary, they are as
sharp as any group you could ask for. They don't hesitate to challenge,
question, and even send us back to do more work. I don't think I am smart
enough to manipulate them even if I wanted to. Therefore, I think they
can take care of themselves quite adequately if in fact someone is trying
to manipulate them. Does this answer your question?
-- Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc firstname.lastname@example.org