Top tips and trends for managers in 2021
To become a top manager of the year you need not only ambition but also business knowledge.

Every manager in 2021 should have read the top tips and trends for managing businesses and organizations. In the article, we present several important topics with detailed descriptions of each question.

All themes are borrowed from Business Value-Oriented Principles (BVOP).

Organizational culture

Organizational culture is first on my list of priorities so that everything else has a positive direction forward. I believe that the successful performance of a company is very closely related to its people – who they are and how they feel. And what happens in the company itself depends mainly on its organizational culture. Culture shapes behaviors. I liken the culture of a company to the personality of a person. Just as there are different types of personality, so there are different types of organizational cultures.

What a person’s personality determines his reactions, his adaptation, his efficiency, his performance. It is similar to the organizational culture. The reactions, adaptability, efficiency, and performance of the company depend on it.

Creating a sense of belonging, clear boundaries of freedom in the organization, and the opportunity for professional and personal development lead to high morale, which still makes the difference – positive or negative, in the overall success of the company and its people.

The situation created in 2020 clearly showed how strongly all the driving forces of a work process and the functioning of a business are connected. How can they not do without each other, because they are tied in a series of links like the rings on a chain? And a change in an external condition that affects even one ring – affects the other units instantly.

Without flexibility, adaptability, timely and adequate solutions, finding a way to keep people’s motivated – business survival becomes an impossible mission, at such a time communication with customers, contractors, potential partners, and others, flexibility is valued much more than perseverance and the desire to stick to the old plan and no longer working models.

The situation was a surprise for all of us both personally and professionally. It was extremely important to overcome the enormous stress and to create a new organization that would allow the smooth running of the work process and the commitments to customers to be fulfilled. But… Clients reacted differently – some switched to remote work mode, which changed the scope of commitments, while others temporarily ceased operations and, accordingly, this stopped the implementation of projects, orders, etc.

Suddenly, everything became a challenge for planning and operation, because the working business rhythm was disrupted. The global situation has affected everyone and in purely human terms – families and loved ones, respectively personal motivation and desire – today to be a successful day.

Relationships between business and people

Because if you have a strong organizational culture, which leads to high morale and good management of human relationships, then you will have the necessary for a more successful business and good business results. And in the end – business is done by people and for people – without them, it makes no sense.
All people involved: consumers, customers, investors, employees, external staff, sponsors – mutually determine supply, demand, and satisfaction.
In this line of thinking, referring to business life, we conclude that the next link will be.

Human Resources

Workforce, talent, labor, staff, or just people, as they are called. Because they are the workforce of one organization, business sector, or even the whole economy.
One Human Resources department manages these resources, managing various aspects of the work, often listing compliance with labor law and work standards, administering employee remuneration, and some aspects of recruitment.

In the interest of truth, I was taught at the university that this department is the backbone of a company, because it participates in both strategic planning and career development, finding potential talent, investing in human capital, budget planning, defining short-term and long-term goals, conflict management, human relations, etc. And the main focus, of course, is to improve the quality of human resources. This should be a priority strategic issue to be addressed. In a market economy, investments in human capital are justified if the expected additional income from them is higher than the investment costs incurred. Or human capital can be seen as the present value of people’s expected future income related to their skills, acquired abilities, and education. And we conclude that business and people are extremely closely linked.

Of course, with the introduction of the topic of discrimination more and more sharply, “human resources” predispose the perception of people as assets, things, or resources and is equivalent to their transformation into a commodity, object, and ultimately their abuse.
However, our entire culture and worldview are undergoing some change, concepts such as emotional intelligence, healthy empathy, and the like are entering.

Human relations

Decades ago, the man was perceived as a robot that can exclude his feelings and emotions so that they do not affect the work process in any way.
Thank God, some people have done enough tests, research, and experiments so that nowadays there is progress and change.

People are emotional beings who are guided by their feelings even in the work environment. Because man is a social being and productivity is a social phenomenon, not just a technical phenomenon. Of course, it is not a question of the workplace becoming a psychologist’s office or everyone falling into hysteria and nervous crisis non-stop. Imagine just a nuclear power plant, the dashboard performance is critical, but it’s a blunder because someone didn’t keep their problems outside and cried for John or Samantha. I’m talking about something else, which is a calm and open atmosphere – people who greet each other in the morning, talk about various topics after they have already discussed important business issues. People who show concern for each other.

These are people who help each other in their work, not just because they get paid for it, but because they are in this very place with exactly these people.
Although in Bulgaria we still seem to have difficulties shaking off the socialist model of government – the boss is the boss and you have to be respected because he is. Point. Alas, already free-thinking generations after generations – children of the new world, he will rather be told that respect is won, not given.

Perhaps, even if great efforts are made worldwide in most modern organizations to ignore the heavy pyramid model in favor of the shortened distance between senior management and the regular employee, the power distance (sense of hierarchy) does not allow a worker to open this “always open door” because it is an insurmountable wall and the employee is nobody for the person behind the wall/door. Excel spreadsheet cell.

I believe that human relationship management is a role model that works for the benefit of organizations. It is close to family relationships, as it is associated with feelings and emotions such as concern, empathy, and even love. Relationships do not happen alone, they require the active participation of all. Sincerity, reciprocity, respect – without these emotions, no relationship can last long. “Human relationships” are an extremely critical and important part of life in the company – which departments are at war and which are at peace, with whom and why you should be careful, who should not be skipped.

Behavior, skills, and maturity of employees

Let’s say some skills are a gift and they are not acquired and learned. But even they have to be developed or at least used so that they do not stick together, so to speak. What a person will do with his innate talents, however, depends entirely on him and his personality. Even if the parents pressed when they were in a position to do so – this does not mean that the child will continue to develop in this direction.

In this line of thinking for me, whatever the organizational culture, if a person does not have emotional maturity, it would be very difficult to have normal human relationships and therefore lose business value in the relationship between business and people, and in each subsequent.
Emotional maturity is developed by man through his functioning, experiences, the way he sees and interprets the world, and the efforts they make to improve their emotional abilities and personal growth.

This fact tells us that emotional maturity is not something innate, that is, no one is born mature, so maturity is not something that is achieved or not achieved, but something that develops or does not develop.

This shows that there are a large number of factors involved in the development of emotional maturity. The main one is undoubtedly the personality of the individual, that is, the way a person should function and relate to the world.

The first requirement for developing emotional maturity is to have high knowledge of ourselves, to know our personality, and to be aware of the ways of thinking and the ways of reacting and behaving that we have.

The second extremely important factor for the development of emotional maturity is in the relationship that a person has with his environment.
One can know oneself a lot, know how he thinks, how he works, and what emotional reactions he has, but this personal development will not be useful if he cannot apply it to his relations with others and the various elements that make up the environment in him.

Lifelong learning is becoming an urgent need due to the rapid pace of social, technological, and economic change and the overcoming of the effects of the global economic crisis. But no matter how much an organization invests in skills and works with behaviors if there is no maturity – it can not proceed to compliance or improve work processes, common contribution and all that follows.

20 main examples of the added business value of BVOP

Organizational culture provokes people to be proactive, to contribute, to share, and to be aware of the business goals of the organization.

All departments in an organization and the idea being that all people in the organization, regardless of the team and the department in which they are employed, can contribute to business value
higher salary, more diverse and creative work, career development opportunities, wider and more interesting professional contacts = higher job satisfaction.
more favorable working conditions, less risk to health, and ability to work = greater job security = higher staff motivation. Reference: “Examples of Business value-added for organisations, projects and products”, https://mstsnl.net/examples-of-business-value-added-for-organisations-projects-and-products/

Culture shapes behaviors. Organizational culture is related to the overall performance of an organization. It depends on the productivity, efficiency, even motivation outside the person of each employee. Nothing will destroy a good employee faster than watching a poor employee be tolerated.

This business value must be created and project management must be oriented towards it. Monitor whether key stakeholders are not involved and how to get their attention if they are not. If new ideas arise, will the scope of the project be revised or will the plan be followed? If the project team is overloaded, will rapid action be taken or will methodological changes be made? If what is happening on the project does not correspond to the budget and the deadline, then which will be adjusted figures or ambitions?

Modernization and innovation.

Innovations have existed since antiquity in the 21st century and their significance is equal to the survival of certain businesses in the face of aggressive competition and ever-changing global conditions. However, for the realization and success of innovation and modernization, it is extremely important to provide two key factors: first of all, these are resources, ie. people, equipment, knowledge, resources, etc., and second, the ability of organizations to manage them. The lack of one or the other leads to ineffective innovations, which, even if they had the potential to achieve a significant effect, unfortunately, remain unrealized or lead to failure. Reference: “Managing business organizations and adding business value. An Agile Manager’s Guide to the Theory of BVOP.org”, 2019 Vol. 2, Marta Cooper, https://www.policymatters.net/managing-business-organizations-and-adding-business-value-an-agile-managers-guide-to-the-theory-of-bvop-org/

People in the organization show respect for each other and work productively.

Ultimately, this again depends on the organizational culture, but also the presence in the organization of strong management of human relations. Effective communication is a key element in achieving mutual respect.

The number of people leaving the organization is limited to a minimum.

After all the tests, experiments, and research, the creation of various theories of motivation of the individual, etc. It is clear that the more working factors there are, the more something strictly individual remains. However, if a sense of belonging, an atmosphere of respect, and mutual appreciation is created, then morality and loyalty will be at a high enough level that the number of those leaving leaves to a minimum. Reference: “How to increase the business value of your projects and organization”, Michael Taylor 2020 Vol. 1, https://managerspost.com/how-to-increase-the-business-value-of-your-projects-and-organization/ ISSN 2563-1853

Conflicts and negative environments are minimized.

The proper management of culture, resources, and relationships, respectively, will create a minimum of conflict and negativity. It is important before starting a new project to allocate enough time for the preliminary preparation of the people involved in the project and building a shared vision. The constant role model is very important and the most important thing is to communicate safely with mutual respect. The project manager needs to prevent conflict situations by performing informal follow-up and purely formal project management procedures such as requests for change, change of plans, recalculation, etc.
increased ability to identify signs and symptoms of potential pitfalls in projects
Here the project manager needs to have the ability to build a common language and understanding between experts and other employees.

The image of the organization increases

The only way to create maximum value for the business is to balance the needs of the main stakeholders: sponsors and management; the team that implements the project; end-users. This leads to a high number of successfully finalized projects; retaining staff who specialize and develop; high loyalty, expertise, and a good image of the organization. Reference: “Adding business value in organizational project management and product development practices” By Oleksander Andrusenko, 2020, https://www.kievpress.info/adding-business-value-in-organizational-project-management-and-product-development-practices/

Everyone in the organization is constantly improving their personal and professional qualities.

For this to happen, it must have a company policy in place to invest in human capital. And to promote a smooth desire for improvement, striving for the development of skills, qualifications – without forcibly coming from outside. In other words, to educate employees who have no ambition and to create in them a desire for learning and development. It is good to point out the benefits of this, the positive effect on their career path and the organizational path.

Team members seek and remove obstacles without waiting for management to do so.

Culture itself doesn’t have to be the only right way, and that’s mine, if someone decides on their own, it will have bad consequences for them. The end should not be relaxed and everyone should show frivolity, which can be applied irreparable or heavy sticks. It is good to find the balance and to clearly define the scope of independence, as there is always someone with responsibility. Without it, a ball will be transferred or relations between employees will be strained. Reference: “Examples of business value and business value-added”, https://wikipedia-lab.org/examples-of-business-value-and-business-value-added/

Management and team members work together to optimize processes and speed up development time.

The project manager needs to be focused on monitoring and optimization, and if possible, there should be the creation of teams that have cross-functionality – in this way the work is done easier and faster.

Expenses are managed and planned carefully.

Discuss with the product manager what it offers and plans, how much, and in what to invest. Perhaps the focus on profit should be expanded at all stages: planning, goal setting, team building, and implementation, and there should be effective risk management.
The tools and the environment are constantly improving.
The culture of the organization should be such that departments look for ways to improve the environment and the tools they work with. To have a real curtsey for making proposals and discussing their implementation. Senior management can monitor the indicators through surveys or meetings, or something else and even seek external consultants in this direction.

Read more: Business value is key to IT success

Unnecessary documents, processes, and communications are avoided.

Good organization by the project management, constant monitoring of the process, and adjustment of the rings on the chain where necessary.

The main causes of problems, defects, and obstacles are analyzed, tracked, and eliminated.

The obligations of the persons responsible for this are fulfilled by analyzing the defects and the reasons for them, inform in due time.

Quality standards are followed and implemented without significant loss of time and resources.

The standards are set, in detail, from the beginning. The product manager must also be responsible for the quality control procedures.
Fatigue is managed and teams do not spend too much time on trivial tasks.
There must be an effective use of the people in the team and the creation of a clear and flexible plan of action and in some way the teams have cross-functionality.

The documentation and requirements are created and maintained in an easy and convenient style so that everyone understands them with ease and saves time from unnecessary discussions and misunderstandings.

There must be good document management practices in place, if something does not work or is not efficient enough, it must be found by the project manager for improvement. Reference: “Business value in organizations and adding business value to projects and products”, https://eduwiki.me/business-value-in-organizations-and-adding-business-value-to-projects-and-products/

Meetings and discussions do not lead to a waste of time and always lead to desired results.

The meetings must have a clear agenda, there must be a formal schedule, everyone must be acquainted in advance, they must be prepared in advance.

Product development focuses on the most important goals and needs.

The product manager works with product practices – market analysis, consumer analysis, comparative analysis, product strategy and vision, product price, return on investment, user experience, usability, business value, production processes, indicators to cover various parameters. He can also participate in or lead marketing activities if he has the skills to do so, and of course if he has taken on this role in the organization.

All results, concepts, and versions of the products are validated with real users, and the risk of an unwanted product is limited.

This can be achieved by the product manager if any. Appropriate analyzes and the final of the project that delivers everything according to the agreements.
Perhaps part of risk management and strategies to adapt to changing market conditions and overcome obstacles to movement, so that higher efficiency and profit can be achieved, no matter where the wind blows.

By Samantha Rhine

Samantha Rhine, Editor-in-Chief of BusinessPad.org

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