If you’re seeking to achieve business growth and expansion, it’s likely you’ll look to leverage the passion and talent of your employees. This might mean looking to your star performers, and it might mean looking for new hires.
The ultimate outcome here is to create autonomy within your workforce – you’re seeking to create a capability that works as if you were controlling it but with little need for your input. Think about that for a moment.
When autonomy is reached, things will just flow and you are free to turn your attention to higher level strategic matters to promote growth and expansion.
Reaching autonomy calls for change
Now, arriving at autonomy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an iterative process, and the way you handle it will determine how quickly you’re able to achieve it.
It will call for a change to your business – and change of this nature is difficult for people; that is, everyone who directly and indirectly has a role in your business. It upsets their equilibrium and gives rise to their fears.
Their status quo will change and they’ll need to understand how it will affect them and why you are making this change. Conveying the right message to everyone is therefore critical. Your message will set the framework that everyone can use to adjust to the new reality.
Be a guide
If you’re clear about the need to reach the destination that is autonomy, your people will reach it quicker. Your personal role is to teach, guide and encourage, to provide them with the wisdom of your experience.
Don’t do it for them – empower them to own it. As time moves forward, if you’re doing things right, you’ll be able to withdraw gradually until you, and they, realise autonomy has been reached.
Sounds like smooth sailing, doesn’t it? In most cases it won’t be, as change generates friction from many sources.
Be prepared to fight friction
It’s very common for people, or groups, who fear they are losing some type of control, or perceived standing, to sabotage the improvement you seek to make.
It may be a peer that assumed they would be the chosen one, or a zealous HR person who is stuck in the past and cannot adjust to the way your business, and business in general, is evolving.
Wherever the friction emanates from, you can answer it by re-affirming your message to the people causing it and, most importantly, to the people you are empowering. Perseverance and commitment to strive for the autonomy you seek will see you arrive.
You will know when you arrive.