David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

Free Up Information

Leadership Nudge – FREE UP INFORMATION

Inside an organization there are generally two different kinds of information that flow. One type of information is associated with authority. These are decisions that are made and instructions that are given. The other category is simple information, which can be things like;

“Hey, here is report with the third quarter numbers.”

“How are things going today?”

The problem is we apply the same rule set to both kinds of information. It turns out that authority should follow the hierarchy. But information should be able to flow anywhere in the hierarchy.

Here is an example of how this plays out. The CEO comes out of her office and walks about on the shop floor. Maybe she stops at one of the machines and says to the operator, “How’s your gear operating today?”

And the machine operator says, “It’s doing pretty well, but I have noticed a little vibration which I think I might have a bearing going bad.” So far, all is well, it is just an exchange of information. Now if the CEO says, “Oh, you should shut it down and do maintenance.” That is an authority communication and that is a violation because that information should follow the chain.

The CEO walks away and goes to visit someone else. So far so good. Ideally, our machine operator then contacts his or her supervisor and says “Hey boss, the CEO was just at my station, and I told her about the vibration I have been feeling.” When we see that communication, sometimes what happens is people get nervous, “Oh my goodness, he shouldn’t be talking to the CEO!” That is a misunderstanding of the difference between information and authority.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Take a look, or a listen, to the communication flowing throughout your organization and if it is simply information, free it up! Let the information flow anywhere!

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com


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