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Delegate decision-making power through the use of the advice process

Why

People become motivated when they get autonomy (the power to decide certain things themselves).

More delegation creates energy and makes things more fluent (you avoid being an obstruction).

People grow when making important decisions.

What

You give people the power to make their own decisions but under the condition that they use the advice process.

You can do this for small and big decisions.

How

The advice process gives co-workers the opportunity to make decisions about quite big topics under the condition that they ask the advice of all of the parties involved. In essence, the delegate only has to consult interested parties, it is s/he who makes the final decision. Of course, s/he must be able to defend their decision with facts and figures

It is up to the co-worker themselves to determine/investigate who to consult. However, it should never be the case that an important stakeholder is surprised by a decision.

If needed you can support people in applying this approach by coaching and facilitating them step by step (only the first time!).

When

When you want to empower your people by giving them more autonomy and decision power within the controlled framework of the advice process.

Skills and necessary training

Look for more information in the book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux.

To apply the concept as a co-worker you need to be helped/coached in mapping stakeholders and in having explorative talks with them to identify interests and opinions.

Also, it would be useful to help co-workers to decide how they will use the information they receive from stakeholders when making a decision.

Critical success factor

This approach is not about reaching a consensus! It’s about giving all stakeholders a voice. So, it is critical that there is a sound argument to support the decision and that you can explain why some interests were not taken into account.

Effective mapping of stakeholders.

Open approach towards stakeholders, i.e. exploration of their views before discussion and debate + setting clear expectations: I am not looking for a consensus, I am giving you a voice but of course I cannot guarantee that I will be able to take everything into account when making a decision.


Possible workshop exercise

Choose a topic and map the stakeholders to consult.

Simulate a consultation interview with a stakeholder.

On the basis of this interview discuss how the information given could influence the decision or not.