2.1. Introducing TINA, the Management Steering Wheel

Diagram 2.1: TINA – the management steering wheel

In this chapter, we’re going to take our first look at TINA, the management steering wheel.  As you can see from Diagram 2.1, TINA is composed of four management activities (identified in the boxes around the edge of the wheel), covering Thinking, Implementing, Numbering and Analysing, hence the acronymWe’ll go through each of these activities in turn in later chapters, but here we’re going to make TINA simpler to allow you to become familiar with the underlying principles of survival management, before we get into the detail.


To differentiate TINA from the more basic concepts that we are going to cover in this chapter, we’ll use the acronym SMSW for the Simplified Management Steering Wheel, so that it’ll be clear to which wheel we are referring at any particular time.  Bear in mind thought that when I say “simpler”, I don’t mean “stupider”.  The ideas behind applying wheels to management are the same, but it’s usually a good idea to learn to walk before you learn to run, so TINA is the management steering wheel and SMSW is the simplified version.  Clear?  Good, let’s get on.


We’ll look at the difference between SMSW and TINA by comparing two levels of planning that might be required when going on a journey, and given that building and running a business is certainly a journey, the analogy seems a fair one.  Imagine that you’re planning to climb Mount Everest.  You know roughly where it is, and that it’ll be cold and short on oxygen.  You know to a rough approximation that you’ll have to manage the process of getting yourself, your team and your gear across the world, that you’ll need warm clothing and some breathing apparatus.  That’s looking at planning the journey using the SMSW.


  • Exactly how are you going to get to Mount Everest?
  • How much will it cost?  What resources will you need?
  • How long will it take to get there, climb up, climb down and get back?
  • Which route are you going to take?
  • What are your contingency plans in the event that something goes wrong?


This is looking at the problem using TINA.  You can see that there’s a difference in the amount of detail required, which we’ll deal with in later chapters, but for now, let’s get to grips with the ideas behind the SMSW.