A Simple Management Model – the Tripod of Work

Despite the title, management is anything but simple – it is complex, multifaceted and difficult.

To be successful, managers should be able to do many or most of the following:

  • Deliver performance through others and themselves
  • Take accountability for others
  • Task, guide, support, delegate, trust and monitor
  • Provide positive as well as constructive negative feedback
  • Create healthy work environments
  • Manage performance
  • Ensure growth and development
  • Coach
  • Empathise whilst balancing task execution
  • Motivate and encourage
  • Manage team dynamics / conflict

Very few managers will be effective at all of these. In fact, many managers are promoted into management positions as a result of their technical prowess, but have no understanding of what management, let alone good management, actually requires. What makes it even more complex is that there is not one management model / approach that is guaranteed to work in all situations with all employees, so managers need to be flexible, and mature with how they approach management in general.

Tripod of Work

Whilst management development will always be and should be a big focus in organisations, there are some simple management models that managers can utilise to help them be more effective. At BIOSS SA we make use of one such model called the Tripod of Work. The Model focuses on 3 key conditions that most employees need and want to exist at work:

  1. To be clear about what is expected of them
  2. To feel that what they are doing is important and valuable
  3. To be allowed to decide for themselves how to get the work done

According to the Tripod of Work, managers therefore need to be able to perform the 3 Tripod of Work management activities effectively. These activities are:

  1. Tasking – Explaining what needs to be done, by when, to what standard.
  2. Trusting – Entrusting someone with the purposes of the organisation, and then trusting them to use their skill and judgement to do the work.
  3. Tending – Monitoring without interference: attending to what unfolds over time, checking resources, priorities and progress, and picking up earlysigns of opportunity and risk.
  4. Managers who execute these activities effectively can create the following positive outcomes:
  • Effective employee judgement
  • A sense of coherence and effective review taking place
  • Creating the optimal conditions for flow and engagement
  • Employee empowerment, autonomy, control and self-confidence
  • Increased employee willingness to go the extra mile
  • Improved management culture and employee experience
  • Enhanced employee performance and well-being
  • Improved ability to manage in an agile work environment

When implemented effectively the Tripod of Work is a simple yet very useful model that helps managers to manage effectively.

For more information on the Tripod of Work email info@bioss.com.