Give Your People the Authority to Make Decisions

People on the front lines know what the problems are, but don’t have the authority to fix them. In this video, David Marquet, asserts organizations can delegate that authority when the front line people have technical competence and understand the organization.

After viewing the video, answer a “Questions to Ask” and select an “Ideas for Action” to incorporate into your routine this week.

Ideas for Action

  • Gather department leaders and have them write down decisions they made in the past few weeks, decisions that they did not want their direct reports to make. Ask them to list why their direct reports could not make those decisions.
  • Now have them work through what needs to happen for their employees to be able to make those decisions. Have them think through what their employees need to learn, and how they can best learn it.
  • Then have your leaders create and implement a plan that will give their employees the knowledge and understanding they need to make the decisions in the field that were heretofore brought back to upper management.
  • Have your leaders meet with their direct reports to talk through this plan, including why they want to give them more authority.

Questions to Ask

  • What types or levels of decisions do we allow our frontline employees?
  • What is the result of our current setup in terms of decision-making?
  • Should we give our frontline employees greater decision-making power?
  • How can we give our frontline employees the technical and organizational understanding that they need to make decisions in the field?