Thursday, 31 March 2011
Apply controls without strangling the business
I know I have just done one blog but there is a phrase in it that I think needs a little explanation as I think it really does sum up the challenge facing senior managers in many organisations, not just the police
But since this is about me and my context is the police then here goes..........
Applying controls without strangling the business.
How do we ensure that when we are creating policy, that we are not, through some inadvertant action, "strangling the business" ?
How easy it is to respond to something that has gone wrong by banning something, reacting with a macho "never again" attitude ?
How easy it would be to just shut things down or create a range of measures that prevent action rather than support it ?
A leadership culture is needed that acknowledges the presence of risk,but seeks to manage that risk not avoid it all together.
Without reference to the vernacular we know that some times Things Happen. How we react, particularly as senior management in redesigning or re-engineering the policy context, defines us as leaders.
I would like to think that I would not over-react, or put in place a multi-layerd strategy, even with good intent, that stops my staff from acting or delivering to our objectives.
Yet as well as having an open mind to such a possibility, how will I know? In an organisation that is a command hierachy, how can I ensure that my staff will let me know if I do re-engineer a policy, and in so doing, create chaos.
Two skills therefore needed..
1. The ability to appreciate the possible or likely consequences of a change or a new requirementon staff ability to work effectively
2. The creation of an environment where despite the "rank structure" people feel free to outline unintended consequences in such time that allows speedy correction
I suppose this also dictates that for 2 above to succeed we need
3. The ability to accept criticism and fix things, having the humilty to change when necessary.
So if I ever apply controls that strangle the organisation...............let me know
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