There seems to be a fair number of businesses that believe the key to their success is knowledge… tightly held knowledge.
Such important secrets that not even employees need to know.
They want to hire great employees and grow their businesses. They want their business to run without them so they can:
- Focus on the bigger picture,
- Take longer vacations without having to stay connected,
- Work less hours,
- Grow the business,
The key to this is delegation.
So they delegate pieces to a few key managers. Not too much.
Just enough so they can do their jobs.
The managers delegate work to their team and follow the lead. Only what they need to know.
The justifications at all levels include:
- They won't understand,
- They don't really need to know,
- I had a bad apple once,
- We don't want them questioning things (see number 1),
- And onwards.
Setting Employees Up to Fail
You are setting your employees up to fail. The culture is one of information hoarding and not one of teamwork.
Proper delegation involves accountability and responsibility.
People want and need to know why they are doing what they do. How it impacts the organization as a whole.
That they have meaning.
In the void of real information people make stuff up. Rumour and plain inaccuracies are prevalent. They make decisions on false assumptions whether you want them to or not.
How can they make great decisions; the same ones (or better) than you would make? How can they act responsibly?
Making it Work – The Mind Shift
First you need to ensure you know what your mission, core values, culture, vision and key business goals are. Then you need to hire people who fit and believe.
Then the leadership team needs to make a mind shift.
Share as much information as you can. If you are withholding information ask why?
Is it because you are scared? Is it because they won't understand? Does it "really" need to be a secret?
The reality is there are not really a lot of real secrets that need to be held that closely.
Don't be lazy.
Train your team to understand. Train them to make decisions according to how things are done here.
It is extra work up front that pays dividends in the future.
The more transparency the more you can trust your team. You have more eyes looking out for the business. The more people who care about success.
The less chance of a bad apple causing problems.
Only then can your business scale and run without you.
And that is the real job of an entrepreneur; building a business.