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When to let go and let them do it their way

So, I have been going on about making sure you have documented processes in place so you can safely delegate tasks to your team and leverage yourself out of the day to day.

And yes, I do believe many tasks need to be clearly defined by documented procedures. But always? Every task you want your team to do?

No – not everything. So, the question is what?

I came across these well known Ted Talk video presentations by two personalities in the business world.

The first – “How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done’ – by Yves Morieux who is the Director of The Boston Consulting Group’s Institute of Organization. Yves research is on how corporations can adapt to a modern and complex business landscape.

Click the box below to hear the Ted Talk.

He starts by acknowledging that business complexity has grown over time and the complexity is increasing at a faster rate today. And the problem is we try to deal with that complexity by trying to get more clarity, and by adding more measurement systems and more accountability processes. The thing is what happens then, is we focus on the need for clarity, measurements, and accountability – not the outcome. So, when we fail – we fail accountably. We are not to blame.

His point, proved so well by the French women’s running team beating the normally faster US team because they passed the baton better, is we can get more done with cooperation so let’s put a more flexible system in place that makes it easy for people to cooperate.

Yves point is so well supported by Dan Pink’s popular Ted Talk “The puzzle of motivation”.

Dan’s point – carrots and sticks used in business today to get teams to do more just don’t work anymore. Today the motivators are finding people with the passion to get the job done and then give them the autonomy and control to do things their way.

Click the box below to hear the Ted Talk.

Dan does acknowledge though that there is a whole suite of tasks which do need rules.  And I agree.

Your support office really does need to have the sophistication to know when things must be done your way and when to let go and encourage the passion and cooperation to get the outcome you want.

It’s not easy.

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