July 19, 2016 Letting Them Lead: Harnessing the Energy from New Players
It’s not comfortable to assemble a new and diverse team to attack a big challenge. And it’s really difficult, even scary, to step back and let them do things their way. Remember “Chaos Theory” in Jurassic Park? “…one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way.”
In business we want to plan everything – at least we think we want to plan everything. We want our strategy put in motion with new energy, but we want a predictable outcome. We instinctively want people to see things our way and use an approach we can easily understand and support. Through the company’s fluid years of expansion, this kind of “quarterbacking” has worked. Why not stick with it?
Once we set a new team in motion, we need to let them attack the challenge their way. We can fight it, or go with it. People’s best work doesn’t come out of the boxes we create. If we start them out that way, they won’t get far. People need to control how they do things to succeed.
So, the challenge is letting go and clearly empowering the team. Deputize them and make them somewhat autonomous. They need the authority to work and make the solution their own.
Transformation teams in particular need to discover and run with their own methods. They need to have disagreements that bring energy, discoveries and breakthroughs. There can be magic in how you assemble the team, but there’s no magic in trying to control their approach.
We need to embrace the events, energy, outcome and eventualities of their work. We must allow people the freedom to take the new strategy to operations in ways we could not imagine ourselves.