March 22, 2022

Let go part 2, Creativity, experimentation and entrepreneurship

As a manager, how do you ensure that creativity, experimentation and entrepreneurship are seen as normal within the team and the organization? Exactly, by letting go. But how do you do that, letting it go? That doesn't happen overnight. It is a process of trying, recognizing and breaking through patterns, being open and honest with your team and above all being open and honest with yourself.

You’ve already taken the first step, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this blog. You have decided that things can be done differently and that things must be done better. You want to empower your colleagues and make them less dependent on you.
But how do you get from way A to way B, when you only have way A in your backpack. Are you going to use way A to get to way B, without knowing what way B looks like? Or are you going to try and experiment with way B? and so by trial and error arrive at way B.
We will help you with that!

Step 1: What does the dot on the horizon look like?

It is essential that you involve your team and / or employees in this process of letting go as quickly as possible. Because that promotes the sense of ownership. Finally, they are allowed to think along and decide about their own future. But before you involve them, it is useful that you know what you want to achieve.
You must have something of a picture in your head. Try to form this image in a dream.

Step 2: Share your dream

Great, your dream is clear. Now it is important to include the rest in this.
Be honest and transparent about this. It is not bad at all to indicate that you have not yet thought of some things and that it will be picked up at a later time. If you don’t know something yet and you say it, it certainly isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows that you are human. It is important that you clearly explain which problems you want to tackle and how you see the ideal world for you.
What you want to achieve in the short term and what you want to achieve in the (medium) long term.

Please note, do not fall into the trap that you are already going to pre-chew everything and that you know everything. If you want your team or teams to show ownership and creativity, leave room for your own creation and interpretation.
There is no greater clincher by saying that everything has to be done differently, that there will be more ownership, that the employees will be given more responsibility, etc. etc., only to see that the manager, so you, has already chewed everything up.
This is also letting go. Let go of having to think of everything for your employees.
They are professionals you can trust. “If you don’t trust them, why did you hire them?” A nice quote from Corporate Rebels.

Step 3: Listen, listen and listen

Now that you have shared your dream, it is important to listen to what the employees think about it.
And we mean really listening. So don’t say “I hear what you’re saying, but…..” or your response is “yes, but…”

Really listen to the employees. Listen carefully to their ideas, their objections, their arguments and the opportunities and threats they see. After all, they know what happens in the workplace. They really do know what they are talking about.

It is also a matter of letting go of your ego. Egos do not want to be hurt or rejected and that means that we humans generally quickly become defensive and therefore no longer listen well and are open to other people’s ideas and opinions.

Step 4: and now go ahead

Great, you really listened to all the ideas of the employees. A great moment to jointly convert all these ideas into actual action items so that you jointly work towards a situation in which there is much more experimentation, more creativity and much more entrepreneurship. These four steps provide an example of how letting go results in more creativity, more experimentation and more entrepreneurship.
It may sound cliché, but it has been proven several times in practice that employees who receive space and trust from their leaders, that the employees experiment much more, show more creativity and take entrepreneurship for what they are responsible for.

Have you taken the step in letting go of things?
Tell us your experiences, we are very curious how you did it.

Leiderschap S0L1D Heroes
November 11, 2021

The manager’s role is changing rapidly. Organizations want to implement a new culture with more entrepreneurship, experiments and ownership. Furthermore, it puts teams at the centre of their organization. This change can ask a lot from the teams and the success lies within the leadership.