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Management By Wandering Around (MBWA)

 

Disciplines > Leadership > Leadership actions > Management By Wandering Around (MBWA)

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Regularly take time to go for a walk around the workplace. Speak to individuals everywhere. Take an interest in them and their work. Ask questions and listen attentively. Try to remember their names and next time speak more personally to them.

When you get back, make notes. Keep a diary of your walks. Use the notes to help improve the organization. Respect confidences and never reprimand or punish people for what they say.

Take care about your dress. If you're visiting s construction site, dress down, but keep a suit on in an office (though depending on culture you might take off your jacket).

Example

A food factory manager regularly puts on a white coat and hat and walks around the production line asking how people are getting on. He is always careful to be open and answers questions as well as asking them. In time he gets to know most people and greets them by name.

Discussion

In MBWA you show yourself to be a person, not a distant figure. As a manager you represent the company and by bonding people to you, you bond them to the company.

A trap of MBWA is to get too close to the people. You are always the boss and need a certain distance, but that does not mean you cannot care or must not be interested in them.

MBWA can also be a great learning experience. At the sharp end of the company you hear exactly what is going on, not a view filtered up the hierarchy.

A variant of MBWA is 'Back to the floor' in which you actually do a bottom level job for anything from a day to a month.

See also

Communication

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