There may be little worse in the way of management than saying that you “welcome participation” but holding on all the while for dear life. Like sporting a polyester leisure suit to the beach, it’s not a good 21st-century look—just completely out of time and space.
But for those who are confused about just how to release the reins, today, we republished one of my favorite tools: a guide for forcing yourself to be more reflective about where decisions get made in and around your organization. In short, it makes the case for being crystal clear about exactly what you are asking people to do when you invite them into the decision-making process. I’ve found this framework helps some people to understand that the change from a hierarchical leadership model to one where leadership is more shared is not an immediate, all-or-nothing endeavor.
I say “some” and not “all” because I remember one passive-aggressive maniac who so confused even this process with his manipulations that every participatory session ended in tears and muttered curses. If that’s the deal with you, it’d be better to not even go to these techniques. Instead, go to therapy and give notice so that everyone can be happier and more productive.
For the rest of you, who understand that you are not the highest form of intelligence and that in fact you could learn a thing or two from everyone around you, read the article and try using the transparency method for inviting others in to make decisions. It can only make you and your organizations stronger.