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.
Comparative Advantage: Everyone has something to contribute
Deciding “who does what” is crucial for organizations to achieve their goals. How can we decide the most effective way to divide responsibilities among team members?
A key goal of Principle Based Management is to help employees strive to create the greatest value they can by effectively working together as teams to achieve a goal. This includes empowering each individual to be entrepreneurial — to discover where and how they can best cooperate toward our shared vision.
Contemplate the discussion topics below to empower your team to maximize its contributions:
How do I optimize my team?
No matter how talented we are, we limit our ability to grow as an organization when we try to do everything on our own and fail to recognize that we can achieve more together than we can alone.
To optimize the team, we can ask “who should do what” based on our team’s unique mix and current priorities, instead of “who is best at what”. We can achieve this by balancing responsibilities according to individual strengths, motivations, and organizational priorities, rather than relying on arbitrary job titles or the existing structure. This is how we apply the principle of comparative advantage.
To answer, “who should do what,” consider the following questions:
- Given the current priorities and the individuals on my team, where can each employee create the greatest value at this point in time?
- As conditions change, how can we continually reoptimize roles and responsibilities?
How can I unlock entrepreneurship at my organization?
By clarifying employees’ individual responsibilities and their contribution to the larger goal, we can align expectations and foster growth through feedback, coaching, and accountability, recognizing both positive contributions and areas for improvement. When we do these things effectively, our teams are positioned to creatively and entrepreneurially advance our vision.
Take a moment to reflect on the following statements and identify any gaps that may hinder entrepreneurship.
- I continually connect employees to the bigger picture and help them understand the “why” behind everything we do.
- I regularly engage in discussions with my employees to clarify and align responsibilities.
- I consistently provide feedback and coaching to help employees grow and develop.
- I hold employees accountable for the decisions they make, both positively and negatively