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Innovation Culture

by Scot Herrick on December 1st, 2006

If you are a manager, how do you delegate work? Like, projects? Or strategies?

There are a couple of different approaches to the work that can be chosen. You can be a manager that explicitly lays out the steps that needs to be done and explain those steps to the individuals doing the work. There are advantages to this approach:

You are working with a new employee on the job and you will utilize the specific steps developed to implement to explain what is being done and why so that the employee learns.

You have no choice as a manager because your manager has laid out the steps for you to do and there is little, if any discussion about the steps.

If you think about this approach, there is virtually no ability to be creative or innovate in this type of environment. These…are…the…rules…and…you…will…follow…them…

Or, you can be the manager that lays out what needs to be accomplished through the project and then let the people doing the work figure out how it can be done. There are more advantages to this approach:

Since the end is defined and not the means, the individuals involved in the work can determine the best approach to the work, allowing for more creativity.

Since the individuals involved in the work create the best method of achieving the end, there is a much higher degree of ownership of the work.

I personally have a theory that says that creativity comes out of chaos, something that one of my better managers in my work life taught me. Too much structure stifles creativity.

If you’re Old Skool, you could almost say that the first approach is Theory X and the second approach is Theory Y on getting things done through people.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Define the goal. Leave the rest to your skilled workforce.

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POSTED IN: Creativity, Cube life, Innovation, Project, Strategy, Survival Skills

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