Head of two heads
In the article we talk about the system implemented in Plarium Krasnodar: it involves the separation of powers, responsibilities and zones of influence between the leader and the coordinator. The material may be useful to managers of different levels, as well as management specialists who are interested in the topic or are planning a reorganization.
Hi, Habr. My name is Daria Menshikova, I am Head of Customer Experience & amp; Support Division studio Plarium Krasnodar.
7 years ago, I started working with a small team of 5 people. Now the structure consists of 83 employees in the office and about 100 remote specialists who form 14 teams and perform functions to cover the various needs of the business in the post-production zone.
I want to share the experience of creating a management system as an example of my unit. The effectiveness of the system has been tested by time and received a positive assessment from the top management of the studio.
Here's how it works
Management assumes that the head has both strategic and tactical planning skills. But if we turn to the classics of management, for example, to Yitzhak Adizes and his book “The Ideal Leader. Why they can’t become ”, we will see that it is impossible to be talented in everything.
During the next round of development of the structure entrusted to me, I drew attention to the leadership of my team. The strongest difference between the managers in my submission was that some thought broadly and strategically, while others thought deeply and tactically.
Strategy and tactics are functions that imply opposing views on goals and outcome.
When I realized that these functions cannot be equal in one person, it became obvious that they need to be divided between two different specialists. Any head of a department or team in a division must take on a strategic function, that is, choose where and why his team is going. He should also pass this vision on to his assistant - the coordinator (not to be confused with the assistant manager in the classical sense), who will look for how the team will come there, answering the questions: with what, using what resources?
This is the idea that, in practice, has been bearing fruit for almost 5 years. Now leads and department directors are not scattered on building internal processes. In their work, they focus on pumping global thinking, choosing the right direction of structure development, team building and a productive atmosphere in the team, on being in the trend of your profession, looking for something new and subtly feeling in which direction world trends are turning.
For better collaboration, there is another simple but inalienable condition - the leader of any direction and his coordinator make key decisions together.
Why is this needed? We remember that they often have opposing views on the same problem, process, idea. Lead estimates how it will look in six months, a year, two years, how it can develop. The coordinator, however, looks at how profitable it is right now, how it is breaking the existing structure, what steps are needed to implement it and how many resources are required for this.
There are concepts such as price and value. It happens that strategists, especially talented ones, who are too carried away by working out the development direction, do not take into account that they can pay a huge price for a certain value.Is this a good time now? Can we afford it? The coordinator answers such questions.
With the synergy of the strategist and tactics, the quality of making a managerial decision is much higher than if only a strategist or only tactics made this decision.
Lead and his coordinator are people who complement each other, work as one organism, and together they can become the ideal leader that a loner cannot become.
Who is he, the coordinator?
Not a deputy leader. If there is only one deputy, he usually takes over all the functions of a leader. There are deputies in certain areas or issues. The work of the coordinator does not imply the adoption of strategic decisions, so he cannot be fully called a deputy.
Not an assistant manager in the classical sense. The assistant usually acts as a secretary who organizes the work day of his leader, but he does not build processes, does not engage in tactical development.
Not PM. Project Manager is more likely to perform administrative functions: facilitates processes, distributes and collects tasks, monitors their implementation and deadlines, and sometimes establishes communication between departments or specialists. PM’s classic decision area is limited compared to the coordinator: the latter, in addition to the above, is fully responsible for the tactical development of the team.
If you operate with the categories accepted in the labor market, then the position of the coordinator is equated to the executive director, and the lead to the general.
The coordinator is the hands, the lead is the head.
Does the coordinator have power? Certainly: his authority is in the field of tactical decision making. The lead controls only the result, not delving into how the coordinator of this result achieved. I repeat, the head sets the direction - where we are going, why , why , and how is the coordinator’s business.
A simple allegory: if a bicycle breaks down on the way, this is a mistake in the coordinator’s area of responsibility, and if the bicycle did not arrive, it’s a mistake in the lead’s area of responsibility.
If scolded, then both, if praised, then also both. If the team succeeded, these two worked hard and achieved great results together with the team.
What is included in the duties of the coordinator? Depends on its grade. Let's look at the job line.
The higher the position of the coordinator in the hierarchy, the greater the authority he has. There is one important nuance here regarding strategy and tactics. Since the Executive Director operates at the level of the entire division, his area of responsibility is wider than that of the Executive Lead, who works at the department level. Since the scale of the division’s strategy is larger than the strategy of its departments, the division’s tactics very often overlap with the strategy of the departments (for the ratio of division, departments and teams, see the diagram below).
Consider the responsibilities of the coordinator at the highest position in the career grid - Executive Director. Its functions can be divided into 5 large groups.
- Management Strategy and Tactics . Planning work with department heads to achieve the goals of the division. Studying trends and new approaches in employee management, team building and effective business management.
- Organization . Coordination of common tasks of departments within the division.
- Team Development . Participation in the adaptation of new employees and the development of young leaders in the division. Work with seniors, team leads. Participation in all stages of staff recruitment and attendance at interviews. Creating a working atmosphere in the teams of the division and its monitoring. Management of the subsidiary teams of the division.
- Interaction . Situational work with top management of the Krasnodar studio.Establishing communications with other Plarium studios. Regular communication and consultation with lawyers, including on user issues.
- Control . Participation in the preparation of reports for senior managers. Determination and control of terms for the strategic tasks of the division.
Novice specialists of this profile also have clearly defined responsibilities and understand what needs to be done on the current grade, and what will be waiting for them when they increase.
What is the minimum set of qualities a coordinator should have? How to discern these qualities in employees or candidates?
- The ability to see the essence of things , to have an inner sense of how to properly build the process based on the statement of the task and the requirements of the leader, attentiveness and punctuality.
- Since the processes in this post relate to different people, teams, or even departments, a well-developed communication skill is required. The company is large, it employs specialists with a different character, mentality and life experience. To effectively build processes, the coordinator needs to be able to find a common language with everyone. Knowledge of personality typologies can help here - for example, types of informational metabolism of a person (socionics), types of personality according to V. Ponomarenko (profiling), etc.
- Moreover, each coordinator must have an emotional core , be psychologically mature. Despite the fact that he works with processes, he needs to have a certain level of empathy and master ethical standards . Most of the processes in the coordinator's area of responsibility are tied to people, so the attitude towards them should be fundamentally good. In the presence of emotional maturity and a good attitude, a partial mental abstraction from external frustration is formed, that is, stress resistance. This allows communication to more often remain emotionally neutral and achieve the desired goals for the business.
- And in order to understand with whom and when to communicate, you need to have a good understanding of priorities . See in what sequence it is best to complete tasks. For proper prioritization, you need to have the most important information for each task that is performed so that the sudden appearance of new data does not lead to a delay or loss in quality. This brings us back to the first item on the list - the ability to highlight the essence.
Is this for you? Act!
The lead-coordinator system involves dialogue. If you are a lover of monologues, you do not need a coordinator.
To share your power with someone, you need not be afraid to share this power and have sufficient self-confidence. You need to be prepared for the fact that the coordinator on many issues may not agree with you, and not all managers like this format of interaction.
Now that you have learned the features of our management system and the position of coordinator, we can conclude how much such a specialist is needed for your team.
I hope the article was interesting, and my experience in managerial decisions was useful.