Are there large, time-consuming activities that exist in your company just to make sure that everyone is doing their job? Do you, as a manager, have processes to simply check in on people? Weekly reports, formalities, Monday morning “posting meetings,” etc…?
As companies grow, leaders have the tendency to govern with compliance tools rather than learning tools. It is easy to fall into the trap of adding more layers of bureaucracy rather than instilling mechanisms that encourage experiential education and growth. People must be allowed to fail as long as they take the steps to fix the situation and learn.
There is a new playbook being written on business. I believe we are entering a new era of work with increased flexibility coupled with higher expectations for performance and flexibility. Yes, you will be able to pursue new ideas more readily and enjoy a more mobile work environment. However, at the same time, you will be expected to add more value.
You will also be expected to change. Gone are the days of having one expertise and one responsibility. As the economy shifts and industries reinvent themselves, you will need to learn new ways of doing old things and how to do new things. Your “performance” will not only be a reflection of actual job performance but also your ability to learn and adjust to new conditions.
And so, amidst the new expectations and the renewed need to learn, we should reconsider the way we manage companies and people. The old-school guidelines and regularly scheduled check-ins do not promote the autonomy and risk-taking that provide a decent experiential education. More than anything else, we should foster learning. Frequent feedback exchanges should replace official meetings, technology-enabled transparency should replace the notorious “posting meetings,” and the static guidebook of rules should be replaced by a more thoughtful system of apprenticeship.
At a bare minimum, when managers want their team to do something, they should seek a learning-based path rather than create a new rule. It is said that the best leaders are teachers, and we must uphold this responsibility in such uncertain times.
Behance articles and tips are adapted from the writing and research of Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network , the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen. All information © Scott Belsky, Behance LLC