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A clear common goal and deadline, shared understanding of each person's role and trust in one another. These characteristics are a recipe for success in virtually any management project. They are also vital for members of an orchestra rehearsing and performing under strict time pressure.
Automobile mechanics are supposed to repair cars and, to underline the point, a television advertising campaign in the US shows them chasing after vehicles to stop them and find something to fix. They're foiled along the way because these commercials are to emphasise that Jiffy Lube International - a pioneering company in the fast oil-change industry - has mechanics who don't want to fix cars. Instead they want to carry out preventive maintenance to keep them out of the repair shop.
Surveys have revealed that around 60% of front-line managers fail within their first two years in the job. More than a quarter feel that they were not adequately prepared for their new role and over half concede that they received no management training at all.
For two nights and three days in November 2008, terrorists besieged the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India, taking some people hostage, killing others and setting fire to the hotel's famous dome.
When US golfer Tiger Woods was at the top of his game, he employed a new coach who encouraged him to change his swing. Many golfers - professional and amateur - couldn't understand why. It was left to Tiger himself to explain: 'If I play my best, I'm pretty tough to beat. I'd like to play my best more frequently, and that's the whole idea. That's why you make changes. I thought I could become more consistent and play at a higher level more often. I've always taken risks to try to become a better golfer, and that's one of the things that has gotten me this far.'
Remember zen leadership? Or accountability leadership? Or even grown-up leadership? What about business-process re-engineering? Or quality-function deployment? Or one-minute management? Or management by walking around?
McDonald's expects to halve the time it takes to train its part-time restaurant employees in Japan by linking its 37,000 shops in the country to a computer-based game that teaches how to clean work-stations, cook food, take orders and serve customers.
It's exactly what you would expect; a consultancy firm that specialises in helping other organizations to spot and nurture their future leaders itself has rigorous talent-management and development processes in place.