Kindergarten to grade12 uses "Learning Approaches" that can easily be leveraged for "Adult Management Practices". In the past, a PM managed with authority, power, experience and expected loyalty.  Now one manages with influence, communication, experience/knowledge combinations from the team, collaboration, innovation and speed of decision making.

For each successive project a team works on, the Influencing style builds stronger loyalty, productivity, commitment and performance. The first style (authoritative) degrades in all of the above with each successive project completed.

Managing through influence, social skills & collaboration are common top topics at conferences. Studies have been done for the past decade through Universities, whereby a manager will be selected that has a great personality versus one that is more experienced or knowledgeable about the work. Old days one was hired due to an extensive resume. New days one is hired due to their fit with the team and culture and has to first pass HR personality interviews before they even get to the technical interviews.

This shift of management selection aligns with the growth of the internet, where knowledge can be gathered so quickly (don't have to go to a library and order a book that will arrive in 30 days).  Also with flatter organizational structure more experience is available through a team of collaborators versus one highly experienced managed and a team of subordinates.

Too often a manager has too much micro-management and is telling them:
- what to do
- how to do it
- then checks in continuously to manage how they are doing it or making sure they do it like they would

Another approach to gain the most value from team members is to first ensure there are clear objectives or outcomes that are being attempted, then mange through the Four Cs:
- Communication
- Collaboration
- Creativity
- Critical thinking

The Four C's are making a name for themselves and becoming popular in the new ways for Children Education.

This philosophy was reminded to me today when I met with a savvy Superintendent from the Saskatoon Public School Board. This is a goal they have to better prepare kids for their careers. It is not all about passing a test, but about preparation for the next level of ones path in life they are about to discover.

Maybe as adults in the work world - we can take a lesson how they are teaching the kids. I is never too late for us to adjust our management and training styles.

Can check out a sample Four C's website:

HOWEVER, very IMPORTANT......don't forget, in the project and work world - cash is so very important. Thus the trick is to not let people we manage go too far down a path that is mistakenly not aligned with the objectives.

This is where Monitoring becomes such a critical aspect of how to deliver project work.  This is where weekly and monthly reports are okay.  But if you wanted to try some of the social media type softwares that are taking such a strong foothold in the work world (blogs, chat rooms, messengers, face-book type posts, etc) then you will get the true, transparent updates and can act earlier - when a "yellow flag" is raised, versus a "red flag" is raised.

This is also where a PM should be open to embrace new tools that allow more effective monitoring and communication (technology and virtual tools are the key).