MBWA – Management by wandering around!
In a recent DiA program celebration + evaluation session (session 7), a DiA alumni recently commented that early in the program, they realised that they weren’t paying enough attention to some of the needs of people in their team. They said ‘my people wanted to see me more on the floor, but it is not my natural instinct to ‘wander without purpose’, but this is what they want; they want me to be more available’. This leader listened, and made some changes that her team really valued, and she found some unexpected benefits along the way!
Often leaders see this ‘wandering’ as ‘hovering’ or an ‘intrusion’, or dare I say it, a ‘waste of time’, but after reframing this ‘wandering’ in their mind, they have seen that this ‘wandering’ can actually become ‘wandering WITH purpose’. By making more of an effort to get out of their office or come down to a different floor, the are more available and visible to their teams, and as a result, leaders gain a much stronger sense what is happening (and what isn’t!), and stronger sense of what their people need.
Funnily enough, this term ‘wandering’ is actually a formal term – often called MBWA or ‘management by wandering around’. A recent ‘MindTools’ post happened across my desk in the same week as this discussion, and it shared some practical suggestions for how to make this practice an effective one. Click here to read more.