When it comes to being innovative and the art and science of bringing cool stuff to life, does the kind and quality of management matter?
I’ve written before about the importance of having management who knows what good looks like. I think we’d all agree that a computer company should have people who
know the best computer when they see it, and that a restaurant’s menu
should be the result of a passionate chef.
Part of the reason behind the emergence of cars like the amazing new CTS-V out of General Motors is the presence of product development executives like John Heinricy, who is the one who pedaled the CTS-V to a record time around the famed Nurburgring. It may be the most obvious statement of the year, but a simple strategy for creating winning offerings is to put power in the hands of people who know what good is, and know how to bring good to market. That’s what GM is doing these days. As you watch Heinricy at work in this video of the record lap (via a camera strapped to his head), ask yourself if your management team could take their own products to the limit in their own way.
Management isn’t the top. Management is the hub for information to allow the people on the front lines do great things in an orchestrated motion. If the people building the car think the car is a joke, it will not attain it’s highest level. Management clears the way for engineers to do their greatest work, engineering clears the way for production to do their greatest work. If everyone has a shared vision and communication – stratosphere. Just a good manager, just a good engineer, or just a good production person achieves just a little bit (on average).