by Stephen Hanman – Collaborative Companion
Step Zero – Wheel-less Spokes
In the generic, hierarchical model that Ian spoke about in the initial workshop with The Red Apple Stack, the manager is at the top. This hierarchy can be redrawn to the wheel-less spokes to the left with the manager entrenched in the middle of their direct reports, with everyone reporting and communicating through the manager.
This is management by control. Work process is slow, as information only moves up or down each spoke. The manager then decides who to pass on this information to, making all communications a one-to-one, linear equation.
Whilst this system is ran and driven by the manager, who is fundamental in the teams’ success, it is also restricted by any shortcomings that the manager may harbour. For example, a manager may only be able to efficiently direct a maximum of 5 employees, perhaps 8 for an exceptionally competent one. With a team of 10 people things start falling through the cracks. Alternatively more managers.
Greater expense; less value.
These smaller teams can be productive – experience has shown us that competent people managed by a competent leader will produce apt results. The problem is that everyone is working at less than their best. The natural interdependency across the team is not harnessed. It is lost opportunity and the cost of doing business greater than it needs to be.
Why not develop a happier, cheaper, more efficient and effective workplace? Why not implement high performance leadership methods? Not only that, but also a workplace that puts less pressure on individual spokes, making them less likely to break or snap.
The first step in changing leadership styles is recognising that these are the things that might be holding the business back. The second step is changing the workplace culture and the leadership style deployed.
You’re starting to see how high performance leadership differs from traditional leadership.
We go into more details in our next post, “Step One – Connecting the Spokes”.