You are not going to get where you want to go looking in the rearview mirror. Excellent managers keep their Eyes Forward. They want to know how they are doing, not how they did. The traditional tool for gaining that knowledge has been MBWA, Management by Wandering Around. Wandering Around meant you were in touch with your business as of that real point in time. You were experiencing, up close and in person, the Event Horizon.
Event Horizon is a boundary in space/time beyond which events cannot be observed. It is real time. It is how things are right then! Except for personal experiences from MBWA, every other piece of information available to that traditional manager was looking backward. The manager in the late 1900s suffered from information overload, but all of it was out of date. For centuries management was been at a disadvantage because their information systems only told them about events occurring well in the past. It was all about events that had already occurred. By the time it got to the manager, it was too late to take any action that would change or improve outcomes of events and transactions reported upon.
Times have changed. Management by Wandering Around has taken on an entirely new meaning. Now we can “wander around” through technology and social media. Excellence companies are hungry consumers of technology that will put them closer to the Event Horizon. They use social media, blogs, websites, and cloud-based tools to have real time contact with customers. They track, in real time, customer Internet reviews and comments about the company's products and services as well as the products and services of competitors. Using technology and wireless communication facilities, excellence companies can and do operate at, and sometimes just over the edge of, the Event Horizon. Technology, including trend analysis, forecasting, real time tracking systems, and social media monitoring, can show us what will occur if we fail to take action now to alter the future. Information guides an organization to its targeted goals provided that information is timely, relevant, accurate, comprehensive, and navigable. And today’s Executive Support Systems (ESS) do just that. They gather, analyze, and summarize the key internal and external information. They provide the modern executive with aircraft cockpit-like command and control—with instruments showing the status of all key metrics necessary to “keep the plane in the air” and accomplishing its mission. Excellent companies keep their Eyes Forward and never go second class when it comes to technology that puts them at the Event Horizon.
Mysteries by Tom Collins include Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest, The Claret Murders. For signed copies go to http://store.markrollinsadventures.com. Print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes' iBookstore.