Management by Walking Around

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Management by Walking Around

Management by Walking Around (MWA) method, may be a management concept that has gotten tons of “buzz” and recognition within the last decade approximately because it’s a part of a business model for cultural change within the enterprise that has proven successful during a lot of companies.

The original concept was created by David Packard, during the first days of the Hewlett Packard organization, a Silicon, Valley, company that was documented for its loyal and highly creative employee base that appeared to achieve levels of productivity and employee satisfaction far beyond the norm.

“The HP Way” which the “management by walking around” method was a neighborhood of was supported the concept that employees, particularly the topic matter experts in their fields, are capable of being a part of the matter solving process which a team approach to making new business ideas and innovate ways to unravel problems was far superior to the “top down” approach of management arising with all the answers and dictating them to a mindless but obedient staff.

Packard was a believer within the open space, no walls and straightforward access to management corporate culture that MWA exemplifies. By enabling frequent and unscheduled interactions between employees and between management and staff, new ideas got maximum opportunity to be gave birth and encouragement to be developed which leads to a more responsive and versatile business culture and one features a robust approach to growth and alter.


To implement MWA, the manager must embrace the concept of a versatile and relaxed relationship with staff. The details of the tactic that MWA promotes is summed up nicely within the title, management by walking around.

It suggests that rather than only meeting with employees at scheduled times in formal settings far away from other employees or during a staff meeting where the agenda is published in advance, many opportunities for workers to speak to management are encouraged.

When the supervisor or manager walks freely amongst the workers throughout their work day, the chance to ask questions and to interact about new ideas the workers are considering is frequent.

From those unscheduled and frequent visits because the manager walks from cubicle to cubicle, great concepts are often gave birth which may then be nurtured into new product ideas or novel solutions to problems.

However, if the connection between management and employee is formal, supported fear or intimidation or not otherwise grounded in warmth and friendship, the MWA system will go from a powerful method of collaborative problem solving to an incredible nightmare for everyone.

You don’t want your employees dreading your “drop in” visits and seeing their productivity drop as you enter their work space because they’re so concerned with impressing and serving management that they dislike your arrival in their world.

It is amazing how quickly a network of employees can detect and found out an early warning system when the manager is walking around so, everybody, “gets ready” for what they perceive are going to be an unpleasant sudden visit by management.

Build relationships with staff

To avoid this, the supervisor should in other ways foster a relaxed relationship with staff. The employee must be happy to debate issues and questions openly with management without worrying of being scoffed at, mocked, belittled or punished.

Many a company has generated a “HP Way” concept that comes out of the human resources department that amounts to little quite color posters on the wall and a suggestion box but nothing changes within the corporate culture or how each manager interacts with the staff.

Employees are quick to note the hypocrisy of such a program and therefore, the result’s management because an object of ridicule rather than inspiration.

By making your visits enjoyable, a welcome experience and one where the worker doesn’t fear your arrival, you’ll expect outstanding results from the MWA method.

And you’ll know you’ve got achieved true change in your corporate culture when not only does one walk around to go to employees, but employees, “drop in” on you by walking around if for no other reason than to share a joke or a donuts. That is a perfect setting for teamwork and proactive problem solving.

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Categories: Management


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