There are right ways and wrong ways to pursue one’s objectives.
M&M’s, or Management Candy, represents the right way—doing the Main things necessary to achieve the objective with the Minimum resources required. It is about doing the right things the right way. Doing the right things is Effectiveness. Do things the right way is Efficiency. The concept of Management Candy applies to commercial enterprises and also to non-profit and governmental entities although it is likely to be less effective in the latter.
Management Candy, M&M’s, is an extraordinarily powerful concept that, once assimilated into the culture of an enterprise, alters how team members think and make decisions. It forces individuals, working groups, departments, divisions, and the company leaders to ask and answer the following questions:
- What is (are) the main thing(s) my group’s success depends on?
- What is (are) the main strategy (strategies) we will rely on to achieve the main thing(s) our success depends on?
- What is (are) the main tactic(s) we will use to implement our main strategy (strategies) for achieving the main thing(s) our success depends on?
- What are the minimum resources required for those tactics?
When these questions are asked and answered at the individual level, working group level, department level, etc., you have an opportunity-focused team thinking and acting strategically. That is a performance level few companies achieve.
Initially some people have a difficult time understanding the implications and importance of the notion of “the minimum resources required.” When people hear the word “minimum,” they tend to think you mean going on the “cheap”—trying to get by with less than the optimum effort or resources—cutting corners, poor quality, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. It means doing what is absolutely necessary to achieve the objective and not an ounce more.
What the “minimum resources required” is intended to convey is that once we have achieved our objective, we will have a new objective and need resources to pursue that new opportunity. There is always an encore to be performed. There is always another mountain to climb. Resources have to be conserved for future investment in the pursuit of new opportunities. Generals hold troops in reserve. Soldiers keep dry powder for the next scrimmage.
M&M’s, Management Candy, produces a culture of strategic thinking and decision making. The “minimum” side of Management Candy does not encourage half measures. One of my favorite sayings is that it only cost a little more to go second class—because of the do-overs, delays, wasted and frustrated resources—make the investment that will get the job done. Then move on!
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