I think the One Minute Manager written by Ken Blanchard is still one of the best management books ever written. It is short and easy to read but don’t let the size or simple language fool you. This book could be the basis for an entire graduate level business course.
My favorite lesson in The One Minute Manager is “management by wandering around”. The message is basically to get out of your office on a regular basis and wander around your business. Go see what people are doing, talk to them. Talk about everything from how their job is going to how things are in their family or what’s happening in their favorite sport. Just talk to them. While you’re talking observe what’s going on around you. It’s amazing to me how many business people don’t know many of the things happening within their business.
Many good things happen as a result of wandering around;
You find out what is actually happening.
You develop a better relationship with your team members.
You notice things that need to be done.
I have expanded on this concept and when ever possible I try to wander around with customers and suppliers. I’ll take them for walks around my business and I will visit their businesses without a specific agenda. I tell them I just want to get to know their business a little bit better. The results of these little actions are tremendous.
So, get out of your office today. Go experience the benefits of wandering around. But I should warn you; this activity can be addictive.