The situation we are currently in is unique: some of us don’t really know how to carry on. Others need to completely redefine themselves. Still others have reoriented themselves and are now doing something else.
On top of that, work has taken on a different character than it had in March of this year. Supply chains have changed, customer relationships have changed because of virtual communication. The human-machine relationship has been expanded, the benefits are perceived more positively than before. This has influenced many business models and the structures in teams and companies. The boundaries are more fluid, the roles are less clearly defined than before. Many decisions are made differently and by others.
How do you behave as a manager in this situation?
There are many theories and studies on leadership styles. In a situation in which the person with the most specific knowledge of the subject should always make the decision, one thinks of agility as well as lean and servant leadership: Employees are required to make decisions – and the supervisor has their back. And because situations can be quite different, the people who make decisions will be very different. Therefore, managers should be able to decide who, when and to what extent they can and should make decisions based on the particular situation – in the spirit of situational servant leadership.
Decisions of the Boss
However, some decisions are still the sole responsibility of superiors. These may include promotions, which in most companies are not discussed in a group of all participants. But how should managers act when such decisions have to be made?
This is where a 2*2 matrix can help, which is based on the model of ‘servant leadership’ (Copyright Leadership Institute Inc):
It is always helpful to communicate clearly to the employees: This is a decision I have to make on my own.
Then there are decisions in which managers need the input of team members, but ultimately have to make the decision themselves – for example, in most companies when changes affect the entire department.
The third type of leadership involves situations in which superiors and employees discuss and decide together and on an equal footing.
The more agile a company is, the more often the fourth type of leadership occurs: where the manager lets the employees discuss and decide on their own.
In order for cooperation to function well, it is therefore important to make clear which type of decision-making is used in which situations.
If you as a manager are looking for support in introducing and defining a decision matrix tailored to your task: I’m at your service!