[MUSIC] In this segment and the next one we're going to talk about some very practical thoughts on what you can do to become better managers of others. This segment we're going to call an employee's eye view of managing. And rather than giving you a laundry list of ways you can become a better manager, as, you know, we see in, in the golf books and the dieting books, I instead want to give you a different perspective, a slightly different way of looking at the world. And the argument is a very simple one, which is that there's, there's two basic world views on how, how we do management. One is to start with what do we want to get done and work our way down to question of what do we need to do, how do we need to act to get our employees to do it using our employees as a, as a resource to be managed. The second alternative approach is to say, let's start with our employees. Let's say we've got a group of people who have aspirations, they have concerns, they have strengths, they have intentions and we want to harness that to the best possible and, of our ability. So what the question then becomes is, what do we need to do ourselves to harness and shall we say funnel the energy and enthusiasm and abilities of our employees towards desirable ends. And the way I want to do that is to, is to just use the analogy of, of, of a very famous TV show called Undercover Boss, most of you have probably seen this show, it was I think first started in the UK and a syn, syndicated now to most countries in the world. The Undercover Boss premise even if you haven't seen it you can guess what the premise is which is the boss, the company goes undercover as a worker and spends two wo, weeks working as a laborer. So I've, I've got to know one of the the first undercover bosses actually, Stephen Martin was his name. And he was working in his construction company, he was the chief exec, he worked as a laborer on a construction site. And he see, saw, you know, things about the way the company was working that he would never have seen if he had been doing it, from the point of view of being a chief executive. They say that the Queen of England thinks that the world smells of fresh paint. And what that means is that when the Queen goes on a tour, when she goes to visit a factory or a hospital or whatever it is. You know, they've always made sure that the place is looking perfect. They've given it up, you know a fresh lick of paint in advance to make sure that, that she sees a, a very nice version of their organization. And of course the same happened with the undercover boss is that when he's got his hard hat on and he's working at the building site as the chief executive, he sees the equivalent of what the Queen sees, he sees things in good working order. When he's got, he's working as a laborer undercover he sees a very different view. So, the, the intention here is just to, to, to remind us all that we need to see the world from the eyes of our employees. And there's lots of ways of doing that, there's lots of tips I can give you. I'm not going to spend very long on these, but I think it's worth just acknowledging, you know, five or six different things that you can do, particularly if you work in a large company, to try to kind of break through the hierarchy, to, to break through those layers of people who stand between you and the frontline to give you a bit of a sense of what's really happening in the organization, because the more you understand what the frontline workers are really seeing, the easier it is for you to do your job properly. Skip-level meetings means having meetings on a systematic basis with people two levels below you rather than just one level below. Otherwise there's the rest of the people one level below you essentially filter things out from you. Web-enabled discussion forums, particularly in large companies. We often have to have internet-mediated mechanisms for people on the frontline to ask us questions if we're at the very top of the organization. Front-line work refers to, for example, many, many supermarkets send their chief executive and their executive team to spend a week every year working, working on the shelves, working on the till, working behind the fish counter to give them a reminder of what the retail world is really all about, which of course is, is serving customers. Smokers corner, what does that refer to? It refers to the, phenomenon you see in most countries nowadays which is the smokers are being banned from the buildings. They have to sit in a little corner outside the building with other smokers. And of course, the point of smokers, the smoking corner is it's not a hierarchical arrangement, you know, you're smoking with whoever happens to be there. And I've got lots of friends who have, who have told me about the, the, the conversations, the informal conversations they have in those sort of set ups, where they're talking about stuff which they wouldn't normally hear, because they're interacting with people, many layers above or below them in the organization. And then finally reverse mentoring. This refers to the practice we often see in technology companies where a very senior person will actually strike up a, a, a, a mentoring relationship with a, a younger person, somebody who's 25 years old let's say, whereby that 25-year-old is actually mentoring the senior person on the latest in technology helping them to figure out how social media works or whatever. And clearly, to the extent that is a, a, a working relationship, it's a good way of getting a bit closer to what's happening. Not just in terms of technology, but in terms of what's happening closer to the frontline of the organization. So very quickly I mean we could spend much longer on this and I'm going to provide a reading in the course room to give you a bit more detail. There's a few little tips for cutting through the hierarchy and these speak to the much broader phenomenon of trying to see the world through the eyes of our employees so that we can do our jobs better.