Sometimes you read something that seems obvious. The light bulb flickers on in your mind.
Reading Russell Ackoff’s ‘Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century’ this line struck me;
“It should be noted that in most organizations mistakes tend to be concealed even from those who make them. The likelihood of such concealment increases with rank or status. Therefore, the higher the rank, the greater the claim to omniscience. This implies that learning is least likely to occur the higher one goes in an organization.”
Team Building & leadership development consulting with managers + teams that have been promoted to management. Their mistakes may not be felt for months or even years. As opposed to front-line staff that have goals in time-spans, usually days to months. This can create a mess for others to clean up.
The short-term gains from management will become long-term work for the company.
When a front-line staff makes a mistake it is visual, there for all to see. The person who can learn and develop a solution quickly, learns from the experience.
Some managers & senior level employees cannot see short-term how the choices they make turn out. We (as employees) have to trust that they are gaining wisdom. Being held properly accountable from their choices and using their best judgment.
11 ways to learn from ambiguous choices:
- Surround yourself with people that will challenge your ideas & choices.
- Ask people who are not in your organization. Find an executive group or start your own executive round-table to discuss challenges & lessons learned.
- Keep the mind-set that you can learn new things
- Constantly ask people who are involved in the work. Go-to the site of where your decision will impact others, talk with them. Listen & adjust as needed.
- Take professional development classes, even if you are an expert take a class and put yourself in a learners mindset.
- Work with an executive coach.
- Ensure that those who you are accountable for, have the necessary competence to-do their level of work & provide needed information.
- Learn what you need to know. DON’T claim that age or ignorance or time is a stopping you from learning.
- Filter out what you don’t need to know.
- Stay in the position long enough to see what may happen with the choices you make.
- Listen, Listen, Listen, and listen some more.
Work will have managers. Managers will make choices that affect the company. Hopefully as people make choices they are able to see the outcomes & understand that learning occurs as every stage of your career.