Thursday, November 28, 2013

Explosive delegation

Why delegation has its dangers and a higher level of collaboration is the future of organizations

I was having diner at a great Canada-Spain business network last Tuesday, and having an interesting conversation along the lines of Present Shock with other participants. Most of them were managers, and the conversation led me to an aha moment: the reason why a higher type of collaboration needs to really take hold in all corporations resides in the lethal dimension of delegation, one of the mantras in classic management.

Delegation can be seen as both a way to empower an employee or co-worker or a way to expand one's influence by leveraging the time and talent of one's network.

Only, in present shock days, most conversations are loaded with time bombs. You know, those emails that get us out of our current activity and reload our day with one or two hours of extra work. We were wondering if irresponsible delegation was to blame for a number of burn-outs each of us had experienced in his or her own network.

A higher type of collaboration would demand a greater sense of responsibility than classic delegation. In a business world where acceleration is transforming the nature of business cycles, while expectations (financial ones but also client expectations) continue fueling this acceleration, delegation cannot be a basic management skill. It needs to become a very evolved form of collaboration with one's team or co-workers, a reason why the term delegation does not really hold.

I am currently working on expanding on management practices towards collaboration practices, that would bring practices such as co-creation, conversation, sharing or learning on a par with management. Probably making management a thinner practice.

My conversation about explosive delegation tells me it is a good direction.

1 comment:

  1. Delegation as any other management tool needs to be used efficiently and your example also shows that managers still forget that resources are after all people and not machines. In any case, the evolution of the mentality of the new generations will make the management more collaborative. Our world is changing and management needs to adapt fast...