Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Make warring managers switch positions with each other



If you have two departments at war, as venture capitalist Ben Horowitz once did when his customer service and sales engineering departments were at loggerheads, he suggests trying the Freaky Friday management technique, named after a movie where a mother and daughter switch bodies and learn to understand each other.

In this case, call in the heads of the two departments, and tell them they are permanently switching jobs. In Mr. Horowitz's example, after one week they had diagnosed the reason for the conflict and begun steps toward peace. Ben's blog

Tell them it's an hour, but end after 45 minutes

Story continues below advertisement

Time management expert Jason Womack suggests that when you are arranging a meeting or conference call that would take an hour, try starting at 15 minutes after the hour and ending it when 45 minutes has passed. This will free up some time. CIO.com

Why it's helpful to postpone actions

When he worked for onetime Ontario premier John Robarts, Major-General Richard Rohmer learned the value of temporizing: "As his chief of staff, I would present him with a daily agenda. He would take a situation and, instead of acting upon it immediately, he would say, 'We'll deal with that next week or maybe the week after.'

"If you leave a decision for a while, instead of making it under pressure, often the situation sorts itself out or the circumstances change for you. And how you feel about something on day one can be quite different from how you feel on day ten." Passionate Longevity by Elaine Dembe

Turn your projector into a whiteboard

Noteshelf is an iPad application that allows you to hook up to a projector during a presentation and write as you are speaking, as if it were a whiteboard. Public Words

Report an error
About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.