Through organizational coaching I help Chicago executives enhance their time management. Sometimes it’s by changing the way they interact with their team–helping them obtain better results from their direct reports.
One such method is empowerment via improving the degree to which direct reports are required to take initiative.
Consider the five levels of initiative as Oncken and Wass described in one of the most popular Harvard Business Review articles of all time:
1. Wait until told (lowest initiative);
2. Ask what to do;
3. Recommend, then take resulting action;
4. Act, but advise at once;
5. Act on own, then routinely report (highest initiative)
What would happen if your team eliminated the two lowest degrees, and operated mostly at the top two levels? How much more do you think you could accomplish? When do you think the results would begin to show in performance reviews?
Initially this shift might result in more time committed to people development, but longer term should produce happier staff and calmer bosses.
What tricks do you use to get people to act from a higher level of initiative?