Scramble Management


I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”

—Billy Joel

I like golf. Admittedly, I have never been that good at it. Like 98% of all golfers, I have a high handicap. But what keeps high handicappers like myself coming back is that every once in a while, you hit a great shot — a nice straight long drive, or an extraordinary approach shot to the green, or that impossible 30-plus-foot putt. And if it happens on the 18th hole, you’re definitely coming back next week to try it all again.

Also like most golfers, I have some clubs that I hit better than others and the resulting shots reflect that. I putt pretty well and occasionally I have a decent approach shot. My drives are erratic and my fairway woods leave a lot to be desired. Needless to say, I am not a well-rounded golfer, which is why I like the game of “4-Man Scramble” so much. In Scramble, you play foursome against foursome instead of individual against individual. Everyone drives off the tee and then, as a foursome, you decide which drive was best. Then everyone drops their ball at that spot and everyone hits their second shot, and so on until the hole is completed. You then get one score for the whole foursome.

Why don’t we utilize our management teams that way? Why do we put people into roles that they are clearly not qualified for or experienced enough to be able to handle? Why don’t we implement a scramble management concept?

One of the reasons may simply be because we truly don’t know all of the competencies of our managers and other employees. Sure, we can see some by observing how they do things or how they resolved specific problems or issues in the past. However, we don’t see the full spectrum of how well developed they are in other areas and thus we may be limiting their capabilities and their contribution to the organization.

What a benefit it would be to not only the manager, but to his/her team, and to the CEO/business owner as well, if they could utilize those competencies that are well developed and improve those competencies that are in need of development.

As the 4-Man/Woman Scramble in golf uses golf shot competencies to help the overall team’s score, Scramble Management uses business competencies to help the overall work team and the individual members.

In golf, it doesn’t take too many rounds to identify a person’s well-developed shot competencies. It’s pretty apparent. It’s different and more difficult to identify a person’s work competencies. First of all, you have to identify what competencies we are talking about. TTI Success Insights® identifies and provides a means to assess 25 specific work competencies as shown below:

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  • Customer Focus – Anticipating, meeting, and/or exceeding customer needs.
  • Appreciating Others – Identifying with and caring about others.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Effectively communicating and building rapport.
  • Negotiation – Facilitating agreements between parties.
  • Diplomacy – Effectively and tactfully handling difficult and sensitive issues.
  • Leadership – Organizing and influencing people.
  • Decision Making – Analyzing situations and consistently making sound decisions.
  • Influencing Others – Personally affecting others’ actions, decisions, and opinions.
  • Teamwork – Cooperating with others to meet objectives.
  • Planning and Organizing – Establishing courses of action to ensure work completion.
  • Resiliency – Quickly recovering from adversity.
  • Problem Solving – Defining, analyzing, and diagnosing problems to formulate a solution.
  • Self-Starting – Demonstrating initiative and willingness to begin working.
  • Personal Accountability – Being answerable for personal actions.
  • Understanding Others – Understanding the uniqueness and contributions of others.
  • Project Management – Identifying and overseeing resources, tasks, systems, and people.
  • Goal Orientation – Setting, pursuing, and attaining goals, regardless of obstacles.
  • Futuristic Thinking – Imagining, envisioning, projecting, and creating what’s to come.
  • Conceptual Thinking – Analyzing hypothetical situations, patterns, and abstract concepts.
  • Flexibility – Readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change.
  • Continuous Learning – Having initiative to learn new concepts, technologies, and/or methods.
  • Employee Development/Coaching – Facilitating, supporting growth of others.
  • Creativity and Innovation – Creating new approaches, processes, etc. to achieve results.
  • Conflict Management – Understanding, addressing, and resolving conflicts.
  • Time and Priority Management – Prioritizing/completing tasks to deliver outcomes. [/message][su_spacer]

By knowing the development level of these competencies, you as the business owner or senior level manager could more effectively delegate work, build more efficient teams, establish coaching opportunities, increase motivation, improve employee satisfaction, and improve overall production.

Utilizing the well-developed competencies of your employees allows all of them to not only participate, but to contribute. Coaching underdeveloped competencies allows your employees to improve and grow.

Scramble Management – everyone participates, everyone contributes, everyone benefits.


Ron Feher
Ron Feher
“Making your business better by making your people better,” captures Ron’s commitment to helping people. He possesses a breadth and depth of experience in a variety of disciplines including job benchmarking, staff development, manager mentoring, executive coaching, employee and management training. Ron has over 30 years of experience working in large, mid-size, and small companies in both technical and management roles with responsibilities covering management and technical training, strategic planning, tactical implementation, P&L, budgeting, vendor and relationship management, user design and testing, PMO, and process/project management of corporate-wide. He has worked for large, midsize, and small companies in a myriad of industries including telecommunications (AT&T), computer manufacturing (Gateway), mergers and acquisitions (RSM EquiCo), real estate, IT outsourcing and publishing (Spidell Publishing). He possesses an MBA in Technology Management, certifications in project management, international management and eMarketing. He is a Value Added Advisor with TTI Success Insights™, a certified Behavior and Motivation Analyst and certified Career Direct® consultant. Ron is currently serving as Irvine Chamber of Commerce Leads Group Chair, FUSION Leaders Chair and Board Member along with being actively involved with several task forces and committees. As an outreach to the community, Ron offers a Career Transition Workshop to churches and non-profits and was a founding member of the Career Coaching & Counseling Ministry at Saddleback Church. Ron’s favorite quote is “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

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  1. Great thought presentation, Ron, while using a wonderful analogy. I think that the individual mentality of most people participating in a golf scramble is “all for one and one for all.” I’m thinking that fabulous mentality is missing in many organizational cultures, thus inherently hindering the success of the superior management concept you suggest. Maybe good ole incentives that include golf might help to kickstart a new workplace mentality toward the Scramble mentality. For sure golf is one of the oldest individual-based competitive sports; certainly one that seems to continue surviving individual frustrations and failures- always enticing its players to return for a retry! 🙂