Over the next few weeks, we will focus on one dimension of Principle Based Management™ at a time, including prompts for reflection, discussion, and application. There’s no singular right way to begin, but we hope that some of the following ideas will inspire you.
Knowledge: Everyone has knowledge to contribute
Without the ability or willingness to quickly learn, grow, and adapt, our organization will stagnate and ultimately fail in a rapidly changing world. Our organization succeeds when we empower each team member to learn and apply knowledge at an ever-increasing rate, discovering better ways to create value in harmony with our vision and values.
A key goal of Principle Based Management is to empower every employee, so they have the knowledge they need to drive progress and innovation at all levels of the organization. These discussion topics will help you consider knowledge sharing within your team:
Are we innovating fast enough?
Creative ideas that have the potential to drive innovation and help us do better exist in the heads of all employees, not just a few. Thoughtful experimentation is a powerful principle that can empower each of us to test out ideas and discover new knowledge.
Evaluate your organization on the following statements:
- We encourage well-designed experiments versus trying things haphazardly with little accountability for learning.
- We reward people for well-designed experiments even if they don’t turn out as planned.
- Employees do not fear failure or the risk of sometimes getting things wrong.
Do we have a culture that helps us continually improve?
If we have a culture that limits the flow of knowledge, and employees feel hesitant to share their ideas and perspectives, our organization runs the risk of stagnation.
Reflect on the following to identify potential gaps in the culture you are striving to cultivate:
- Do we have a culture that encourages values such as integrity, humility, and respect?
- Do we reward or punish people when they point out a valid concern with a plan?
- Do we rely on principles as general guidance, or do we rely on forms and procedures to encourage compliance to the (so-called) “right way of doing things?”
Are we measuring what matters?
Reality-based measures can help us understand if our efforts are improving the lives of those we serve. They can also be confusing, cumbersome, or unintentionally push us in the wrong direction.
Dust off your metrics in your next team meeting by discussing the following questions:
- Do our measures fuel entrepreneurship to discover new strategies or do they encourage compliance to “the bosses preferred way?”
- Do our measures empower individuals to make better decisions or are they overly complex?
- Do our measures help us focus on our most valued outcomes or are we too focused on “sticking to the plan?”