If you’re already flipping the script on the question and rather asking “Does micromanagement ever work?” then you’ve fallen right into the misapplication trap, because we’re not talking about the micromanagement of staff today. We’re talking about micromanagement in the operational context and in that context it pretty much always works.
Operational micromanagement is when you’re in one of those black and white type businesses which operate with a business model that has stood the test of time, in which case there is a clear blueprint to follow which you never really want to tamper with. Instead you make sure that the tried and tested methods are implemented at every level, especially when you have new employees or those who have what is otherwise a good tendency to add a bit of creativity and initiative to their work.
For example, if you’re running a fast food chain franchise then there is no place for trying out new recipes. You have to stick with the tried and tested, if only for the uniformity which is expected of a well-known fast food franchise.
Even in the case of something like a fast food franchise with rigid franchisee rules governing the operations, there will always be some opportunities for micromanagement. In fact, sometimes there’s a distinct need for micromanagement practices, but it doesn’t always work for a number of reasons.
One of these reasons why micromanagement doesn’t always work is because of the fact that the modern day business environment is so dynamic and for the mere survival of your business these days sometimes what is required even approaches a certain level of ingenuity. You don’t quite understand the level of creativity which is sometimes required just to keep things moving along smoothly and this is what makes it important to take cognisance of the fact that micromanagement shouldn’t always be rigidly applied.
It’s a serious challenge though because for the most part the clearly defined roles which form part of the conventional micromanagement principles are to be implemented so regularly that they become second nature. When the need for a bit of dynamism comes around there can be a bit of ring-rustiness, in which case it might be difficult to break beyond the barriers of the defined roles and try to summon some creativity and this is why it’s important to leave a little breathing space.
If you’ve had any experience operating even the smallest of businesses then you’ll know all about the many examples in which operational micromanagement should be overlooked, but the gist of the matter is that you have to look at the bigger picture if you want to know when to overlook operational micromanagement. For example, payday loans aren’t ordinarily associated with long term financial management and planning, but wouldn’t it perhaps make better sense to get that payday loan if you needed some quick money so as to maybe take advantage of a unique business opportunity that’s coming up?
So it’s all about keeping your eye on the bigger picture…