Management and Management Success
The subject of this website is: "How to Build a Management System that Works". This website has everything to do
with management: to make things work, reach objectives, targets, goals. For this, management activities need to be
carried out and communicated to all concerned, within the organization or external. Management activities are
part of a "management system" set up to reach an identified goal.
It is not my intention to say a great deal about management, its tasks, functions etc. For this, I refer to the
description that I gave under "Terminology". I think
that will be sufficient within the context of my website.
Management Success = Management System Success
The description given under "management" on the Terminology page already indicates that management and
management success are almost synonymous and the management system
is THE instrument to work things work.
As a Management System will normally be there for the entire duration of an undertaking, project, company
or organization, it probably should be put in writing for reference and communication purposes. It is only when a
company is very small that it might not be necessary to put things in writing, either on paper or electronically.
The detail of a management system and related instructions and procedures will depend on several aspects such
- the risk involved in your operation
- the media sensitiveness of your organization
- the level of professionalism, training and experience of your personnel
Management directs the organization towards its objectives through activities that are included in activity
areas, the elements of one or more management systems. These management systems are the channels through which
management makes sure that the organization is going into the right direction.
One of the main functions of management is to control loss
To know problems in advance
To control accidents, incidents and other unwanted events and their consequences
To close the gap between "practice" and "theory"
Between "what and how it is done" and "what and how it should have been done"
There are plenty of books written about management, maybe even too many. I used to have quite a number of those
books which I started to buy and read from the early seventies onward. I did that because, as a chemical and
industrial engineer by education, I had little idea about what "management" represented as that was not taught in
college. However, I found out that there were quite a number of similarities between the process of management and
what I had learned about chemical engineering, particular where it concerned process control. I kept buying these
management books for a number of years but ended reading only few pages of new books to find out that it often was
like the same old wine in new bottles.
Finally, in 2004, I gave all my books away to some younger people starting as independent consultants. I
remember a number of them and sometimes I may regret that I gave them away: "Professional Management" by Allen and
"Beyond the quick fix" by Kilmann. The books written by quality guru Crosby such as "Quality is Free" and "Quality
without Tears" were interesting and others were funny such as "The One-minute Manager" by Blanchard and Johnson and
The "59 Second Employee" by Andre & Ward, staying ahead of the one-minute manager. The Peter Principle
("rising to the level of incompetence"), Parkinson's law ("divide and rule"), "Managing for Results" by Drucker,
"Managerial Breakthrough" by Juran, "The Practice of Management" also by Drucker, "Theory X and Y" by
McGregor and "Theory Z" by Ouchi, books written by Likert, Maslow, Argyris, Herzberg, Kepner &
Tregoe, etcetera. And of course books on safety and risk management as I worked in that area since
Anyway, as I mentioned above, this website is not to teach you management in all its aspects, not even close.
Buy yourself some good books on the subject if you feel that is necessary. The subject of my website is on the role
that a management system plays within one of the main management functions: to control accidents, incidents and
other unwanted events and their results.
It is in the gap between "what is" and "what should be" that
Errors, mistakes, accidents, failures, losses, downgrading incidents, whatever you may want to
They all eat away your profit!
The role of management - in particular top-management - is to lead the organization into the desired
direction and obtain desired results in each business area. They hardly can do this alone and need to lead and
support the work of others in reaching the goals.
A management system is THE vehicle along which leadership can flow down the organization ... provided it:
- is set up using a well defined process
- has adequate content to reach the objective(s)
- is structured to stimulate implementation and
measure results obtained