Role of Managers

Unfortunately, many modern-day engineering managers believe their role in an organization is to attend meetings, keep abreast of the latest organizational policies, make the tough decisions about the big problems in the company, and generally look upward and outward. The philosophy seems to be that a good manager is good at delegating, and good engineers should work autonomously.

In the United States, ‘nosing around’ is being a busy body. It is a form of micromanagement. An effective manager should delegate and then stay out of the engineer's way. For a Toyota manager, this is abdicating responsibility. How can you consult and advise if you do not know what is going on? If you have no more information about what is going on across the organization than any other engineer, then what is your value?

From the Book The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process and Technology, Productivity Press, 2006, ISBN 1563272822


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