Skillful Diligent Management Oversight is better than Autonomy for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Ever think your manager is a pain because they are always checking on you, quizzing you, and making you feel like they don’t trust you? Do they make timely observations and have an uncanny ability to make insightful comments or have you take corrective action before you get tripped up, deviate from corporate expectations, or get into trouble? Are they always trying to find ways for you to do your job better? Do they know more about you and what you are doing than you would like? Do they know how you think, so much so that they seem to care as much about your personal development as they do about the job you are doing? You may not like it but they are doing their job and they are probably better than most managers. Here is why you should consider yourself lucky.
You have probably heard and may even think you like the management concept of “hire the right people, then get out of their way and let them do their job.” Well, I believe this can be taken to the extreme and in some cases, to the point of abdication of management responsibility. I believe many of the missteps pharmaceutical companies have made over the past and perhaps even the current J & J recall situation could be attributed to a lack of diligent management oversight. There is some truth to the sayings “inspect what you expect” and “trust but verify.” No, I am not a control freak but where was management when the quality issues at J & J first surfaced or when pharmaceutical companies were involved in some of the questionable and sometimes illegal activities of the past?
So what is diligent management oversight? From my perspective, it is knowing what is going on throughout your span of responsibility? If you are a front line manager, it is knowing what is going on within your team and the jobs they are expected to do. If you are the CEO, it is knowing what is going on in your company. Diligent management oversight includes evaluating performance against goals and objectives, ensuring regulatory and legal compliance, and maintaining organizational standards for cultural and behavior expectations. It also requires management to provide timely feedback and to make decisive interventions when deviations from expectations are identified or have the potential for doing harm by exposing the company to unacceptable risks.
Diligent oversight takes skill to avoid annoying micromanagement and to leverage the value-added benefits of diligent management oversight. Skillful oversight provides employees with coaching and nurturing to enhance performance, guide career development, and can convey a sense of caring about the person and demonstrate an appreciation for the job employees are doing. Even the best of athletes have coaches who are watching, evaluating, and providing insightful corrective actions and encouragement to improve performance. The better the athlete, the better the coach must be to have credibility and to have a positive impact. The same is true in business. The stronger your team, the better the management must be.
So the next time your manager seems to be asking too many questions, trying to understand more about what and how you are doing your job, maybe even challenging you to do better, don’t take it personal. They are doing their job and you might actually be lucky enough to have a manager who wants you to do well, is willing to help you, and can help keep you out of trouble.