"A good technique is to conduct brief (5 minutes) informal status checks with all of your team members"
I've had best and not so good managers do such things.
In the best, we all gathered in a work-room daily and quickly quickly, each person was asked what progress he'd made, what was working and what was not, what brick-walls he'd run up against so that it had to be handed on to a different member of the team more specialized in that area, what things we could pick up from the others, which ones required eliciting external resources... It was a bit like being in a football huddle with the clock running, judging what just happened and what would be best for each of us to do next, but moving forward forward.
In the not so good cases, we were crowded in the manager's office and watched, painfully, as the manager wrote down everything on paper in preparation of an e-mail report to his bosses. There was never the dynamism, no give and take, no sense of availability of resources to keep the project movign forward. IOW, it was a total time-waster.
And yet, I'm sure that both managers thought they were doing the same thing -- getting the detailed elements of project status and interacting with the project members.
The worst were the "do it my way, but I'm unable to clearly express exactly what 'my way' is, so you may step on a land-mine any second".
"ideas on HOW they can go about making the change and examples of how you would be able to measure the change."
Yes, that's good, unless there's disagreement over whether the change you're wanting would be progress or regress. Then you need to stop and try to work that out in a mutually agreeable way. Employees are not bound serfs or slaves.
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