Management by Wandering Around

Management, MBWA, Tom Peters, Jesus,

Tom Peters and Robert Waterman Jr in their business classic “In search of excellence” popularised the term ‘Management by Wandering Around’ (MBWA). In their book, Peters and Waterman encouraged leaders to venture out of their offices by spending a significant amount of their time visiting and listening to their employees in both global and local locations. Such visits will allow leaders gather the necessary qualitative and insightful information required to steer the ship and communicate the vision to everyone in the organisation.

Jesus Christ practiced this in his ministry. He could easily have established his headquarters in Galilee and demanded that people come to him but instead he resisted the temptation to heed the demands of his followers for this. He knew that he had to be accessible if he was to be effective in reaching his target audience. He could only connect with the people if he went to them. MBWA allowed him to communicate his message to the people, identify with their plight and see the situation first-hand. This enabled him to feel the pain of the people, realise the hold of the devil on his people which made him willing to sacrifice himself on the cross.

A lot of new leaders prefer to stay in HQ and don’t venture to other locations in their organisation. Such leaders make themselves inaccessible and they are usually surrounded by staff in HQ who feed them limited or inaccurate information. Until a leader starts to connect with other employees outside HQ, he/she will never find out what the real mood and situation of the company is. Leaders have fallen from grace because they never knew the true state of their followers’ hearts as a result of never practicing the art of management by wandering around.

The best champion of any organizational vision is the leader (CEO) and the CEO needs to be accessible in order to connect with his employees. Physical connection and communication reinforces vision casting better than any other means of communication available. MBWA allows leaders to know the pulse of their organisation’s heartbeat and nip problems in the bud before they escalate into crises.

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  1. 'Bola Fatogun

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