There are companies and organisations among us, that have cracked the secret of being creative and productive while also being a place where people love to work.
These next generation companies have implemented what most companies only pay lip service for: trusting their employees to take initiatives and decisions. For most people, however, this is still the stuff of fairly tales: "You mean everybody can have an idea and implement it? Just like this? Sounds like a recipe for chaos and disaster!".
The answer is: yes they can do it! And no, it's not at all chaotic, it is actually very systematic.
Here is how they do it:
- Somebody has an idea on how to improve something (a work process, a product, marketing, etc.).
- Now they need to gather intelligence on the various aspects of implementing the idea.
- They will ask for advice from those - in the company and possibly outside - who will in some way be impacted by the change that they are proposing or from those that have experience in that sort of thing.
If these are too many people, they have to make sure to at least ask advice from every category of stakeholders.
- After (they gathered all the insight and advice, they (the employee who had the idea) take a decision about going ahead (or not). The decision will be informed by the advice they get, but they don't have to follow the advice. They take the decision according to their best judgement.
- They go ahead and implement their idea (with the support of the company), improving their idea based on the feedback and contribution they got.
There are many accounts of business successes that came from the "shop floor". The advice process puts creativity and drive for improvement in the centre of the business rather than leaving it to chance.
By giving the people the actual power to decide and to implement the company ensures engagement and initiative.
And what if it doesn't work out? That can happen... but it will happen less often then in companies where the decisions are taken by the management.
Trust pays off. In every sense of the word.
Click here to read examples of how the advice process works in companies around the world.