By now everyone is familiar with a shit sandwich approach to delivering really bad news – you start with the compliment, deliver the bad news and close with another piece of good news. It makes everyone walk away from the conversation thinking that things are OK but some changes need to be made.
Sometimes you need to make changes that are quite minor on the surface but can trigger more work, meetings and unnecessary work to address something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Shit Pizza Management
Ever had a really bad pizza? The toppings were bad but hey pizza is better than the salad. So you want to complain but hey you’re eating it. Then you get to the crust and – screw it – just throw it away.
Managing by this process delivers mildly inconvenient news as the topping and the crust of it makes everyone throw away any arguments they would have had.
Today I had to make some scheduling changes and that’s the last thing that anyone ever wants to hear. But in the pizza topping I basically asked them to come up with the suggested changes as the schedule as it is just can’t stand.
Now here is what happens when you ask people to change anything: I really don’t want to. So they have a choice: be unhappy and it’s my problem or come to my office and waste my time with why they don’t want to change. Either way, everyone is unhappy. But is that the worst part?
Nope. The crust is. The crust being: I make the change for you.
Please let me know what you all come up with, I’d rather not make these adjustments for you.
No matter what kind of change someone is asking you to make, you’re not going to like it. But at least you get the option of finding something that works for us both.
You don’t have to eat the damn crust.