Management and Executives are often afraid to let go of power and decision making. In working with very diverse companies and industries I have seen different levels of willingness to let go and empower staff underneath them to make decisions not just to keep at speed with consumers but also in making the highest-quality decisions. Many organizations can be highly bureaucratic and the organizational structure itself can often not lend itself to staff pushing basic decisions up hierarchically and this can lead to staff feeling like they are not empowered or not trusted. Leaders can also become content in making many of the decisions and often they are doing so not being the expert on the issues or decisions themselves.
So the question becomes how do we change the culture and process in streamlining approvals, empowering and engaging staff. It is easy to implement a process and provide guidelines with an approval matrix but often it is not that simple, as in my experience if there is no trust with the staff or if leaders are not willing to delegate and trust colleagues and other staff with expertise in their areas it becomes difficult to stay afloat. I have seen many well-intentioned managers and executives become the blockage in approvals and often collateral can sit on the end of a desk when it is time-sensitive and the ROI dwindles as valuable work sits unapproved and not launched or implemented.
Change Management in regards to letting go of control for management and executives can be very difficult. Often executives and management want change but often do not want to change their actions themselves and this can often mean processes and operational speed can be held up in many of these cases. Time and again change management’s essential in changing culture and mindsets. Using influence to change actions of leadership and get them too often play the role of a servant leader and coach can help accelerate the maturity of an organization. Successfully changing leaders’ roles and mindset has been something I have taken pride in within my career to align them with goals and destinations that the organizations are focused on reaching.
Empowering the people with the most information and closest to issues to make decisions can help teams become more efficient and alleviate pressures from management. A great perspective of this was Captain David Marquet’s command of a nuclear submarine and his empowerment of his crew. In reality, the mind of one leader is not as strong as a whole team so it is, an organization leverages its employees. Captain Marquet’s video can be found below:
The shift to empowering employees is one of the largest keys to developing speed and often efficiency. Leaders often feel like they need to take control to generate speed to market but this can often slow decision making while reducing efficiency and quality. Leaders often are best-served leveraging employees’ strength and helping build trust to empower the organization to help reach optimize their efficiency.
Fahim Moledina is the Principal Consultant for Opti-Syn Strategic Consulting and is a business leader with expertise in project/change management, finance, lean/agile methods, as well as marketing and sales.
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