How To Stop People Always Asking For Permission
In large organisations how do people know what you want? I find that keeping it simple helps – you can't expect everyone to remember complicated messages.
If you want people to feel empowered, they must feel that you've got their back when a well-intentioned improvement effort backfires.
- How do you spread the word that experimentation and innovation aren't just welcomed – they're required?
- What if you want everyone to know you will support them trying things out?
When people are wondering what to do or whether you'd approve, they're not doing it. This slows down progress.
Here are 3 questions you can ask people to answer when wondering if they are ‘allowed’ to do something.
If they can answer affirmatively – tell them they're good to go.
1. Am I proposing to spend someone else's money without asking first?
If we don’t take the trouble to discuss what we’d like to do with the person who must account for the new expenditure, we’re treating them unfairly. By asking people to be considerate about the potential impact on other people you're encouraging conversation – another key ingredient of successful organisations.
2. Is what I'm proposing to do potentially unsafe?
Doing something you think is helpful only works if you aren’t proposing to do something which is potentially unsafe. Thinking outside of the box can still be encouraged – by signalling people don't have to ask for permission before they try something you are treating them like adults.
3. Is what you are proposing to do something that will make us proud?
People know when something is the right thing to do. If they don’t this won’t be the only way they display poor judgement and you’ll either have them on your radar or soon will.
Even if something doesn’t work, making a sincere attempt to make things better can still make us proud.