Are you stuck in the trenches?
An interesting thing happens with growth, there are consequences. Most growth stories follow a similar pattern:
- Business starts off being really good at what they do
- The process of running the Business is loose, which works well
- Enough time passes and the Business becomes bigger and more complex
- The systems and processes that served it so well start to work against it
- End result: Leaders are stuck in the trenches and can’t move into strategic functions because the Operations area is like quicksand.
So what does it take to dig yourself out?
I was working with a client recently who tried delegating a certain function. Errors followed requiring his rescue – and before you knew it he was back where he started.
Another client had the exact opposite experience.
There are typically 3 things that make/break this process:
1. Effective training
This requires the leader to move out of “unconscious competence” into “conscious competence”. You don’t teach someone how to drive by whizzing around the block, sipping a coffee and saying “your turn now”!! You teach this skill by breaking it down and de-coding the process in the same way you learned to drive…..There are 4-5 steps we take before turning the ignition without even realising. There are about 150 others whilst we are in motion. The role of a driving instructor is to move through these actions consciously so the student can learn.
When delegating or training, which space do you sit in?
2. A 'real' handover process
This means more than a shuffle of paperwork and emails. To succeed it also needs to carry clear decision-making delegation. Often tasks are delegated without decision-making discretion.
3. On-going coaching support
Coaching (as opposed to rescuing) involves responding with questions, not answers. Coaching is a much more effective and sustainable way to build capability beyond you and ensure the functions you have delegated stay delegated.
If you’re stuck in the trenches, which one of these three need work?