CEO of Easygenerator

I am writing  a series of post on my professional foundations both for (e)learning  and managing. This is the second blog in that series and it is about  ‘output management’, my management foundation.

In 1998/1999 I followed a training called SVO (an abbreviation for – in Dutch- Steering of change in organisations) at SIOO in the Netherlands. I took away a lot from that course. For example I still have an ‘Action learning group’ that originated from that training. This training transformed me from a consultant into a manager. It was composed of ten three-day sessions in a far to expensive hotel.  Each session was managed by our course manager (Jaap Boonstra, now dean at SIOO) and there was a ‘special guest’, somebody from the field of (change) management.

One of the guest teachers was Filip vandenDriesche. He is the author of the book ‘Leidinggeven zonder bevelen’ , that translates as ‘Leading without commanding’,  it was originally published under the title ‘De input- output manager’.

This book became my management bible. I will explain why. The following picture shows an important concept of the book:

Image form ‘De input- output manager, Filip VandenDriessche.

There are two contradicting pyramids. The “management funnel”  and the “conflict pyramid’. Both cover to three stages (strategic, tactical and operational). On the strategic level (problem and goal) the chances of conflict are small, but if you have a conflict it runs deep! On a tactical level (criteria) the chances of conflict are increasing but on a operational level the chances on a conflict are the biggest. Therefore Filip concludes the following: A manager should be authoritarian on the strategic and tactical level. But on an operational level manager should accept any solution that meets his criteria. In other words keep away from the ‘how’.

Of course there’s more to it, a shared vision is a prerequisite and the person(s) who will create the solution must acknowledge the problem. Pilip has a very simple strategy for that, he calls it ‘how to sell a monkey’. If you have a problem as a manager, then the monkey is ‘on your shoulder’.  You need to get the monkey on the shoulder of your coworker. Just take the following steps:

1. Confront the person with irrefutable examples.

2. State that this isn’t acceptable,

3. Ask the opinion of your coworker and wait.

If the coworker acknowledges your opinion you can actually feel the monkey jump from your shoulder and land on his. This last picture sums it all up.

Image form ‘De input- output manager, Filip VandenDriessche.

For me his book was the most practical management book I have ever read, I can recommend it to everyone. I contacted Filip before writing this blog, he told me that a translation in English  will be available in the next few months. He will publish this on his website:

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