Know your workplace drive-bys
1 : carried out from a moving vehicle, a drive–by shooting
2 : done or made in a quick or cursory manner, a drive–by analysis
--Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
You’ve not participated in any of the planning meetings; you didn’t read any of the background; and you’ve never talked to the customer(s). Then, you speed through and issue an instant decision/edict. There is, of course, a time and place for making a quick decision, but let’s not confuse “the buck stops here” leadership with “I’m the decider” petulance.” -- Ivy Sea Inc., a business consulting firm based in San Francisco.
Can appear at different times in a project. May be at the beginning when you are given few details and no direction. Or at the end when the project is near completion and the early decisions are under a microscope with suggestions that go back to the planning and draft stages.
How to cope
Learn to spot drive-by decisions and management and those who operate that way to help in the future. If someone tosses out tasks which you work on and report back only to have that person look at you as if to say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” you’ll know there’s probably no need to spend much time on that person’s tasks in the future unless you work out some real details at the beginning.
Drive-by management at the end of a project teaches you to get minute details at the beginning of the next one from this person.
This article has good suggestions to start thinking about how to deal with drive-by management:
Management by Drive-By-Shooting by Glory Borgeson
March 23, 2007
You can sign up for the Ivy SeaZine, tips and inspiration for conscious enterprise and communication, at http://www.ivysea.com/
And a new drive-by term I found through a search:
Working moms and the Mommy Drive-By: Why do we do this to one another? by Lylah M. Alphonse
Aug. 19, 2008
“We've all experienced it at one time or another: The Mommy Drive-By. When someone -- a relative, another mom, a total stranger -- takes it upon herself to question your judgment or criticize your parenting.”