Do You Practice JIT or JIC Management?

Trigger Question #33

A just-in-case micro-manager ready to pounce. (Created with Microsoft Copilot)

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As you know, in JIT manufacturing, parts arrive Just In Time for when the production system needs them. Do you know what the opposite of a JIT system is? It is the one that was invented soon after Dave the Caveman chiseled the first wheel out of rock.

That system only got a name after newbie JIT was born. Until then, it needed no name because it was the only system in town. But when the experts rebranded just-in-time as JIT, the ancient system needed a name as well.

And so they named it JIC. As in Just-In-Case. Back then, businesses of all types simply piled up inventory of all shapes just in case they needed a part. Or a piece. Or a spare.

What has this got to do with your management style? Read on.

My high school woodwork teacher was rather stern and aloof. So it did not surprise me when I heard him say that he did not bother with teaching safety in his class. He believed that the only way a student would learn not to do something stupid twice was to get hurt once. Ouch.

And yet, in the two years he taught me, not a single clumsy kid drew blood in his class, despite being tempted by sharp chisels and fast spinning blades. How did Stern and Aloof manage that? Just-In-Time teaching. He only appeared to be aloof until he appeared at your side just in time to stop you from parting with a digit or two. And then he would sternly explained the correct procedure.

Just-In-Time teaching meant the lesson stayed stuck. And so did your digits.

Can you now tell what style helicopter parents practice? That’s right! Just-In-Case parenting, based on what-if thinking. Enough said.

And what about bosses? If you have more than a few years of boss knowledge, then I am sure you can classify those you have known as either just-in-time teacher-managers or just-in-case micro-managers.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always done my best work for a JIT boss. But let’s not knock JIC bosses too much. After all, with them you do not have to think too much, sweat too much or care too much.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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