The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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People Can Fix (It) Themselves

– Step Back And Watch

If we do not let people do things the way they do, we will never know what they are really capable of and they will just follow our boarding school rules. – Ricardo Semler

In a Nutshell

Problems and creative solutions are fundamental to any successful organization. It’s utopian to believe that a company without problems can exist. In fact, the presence of issues and concerns are actually hidden opportunities to review the status quo and reorient ourselves. As much as it’s important to identify problems and solve them, it’s equally important to think about the stakeholders involved. Who faces these issues? Who brings it to the attention of the management? And, who solves the problem?

In any company, it’s often the employees who first encounter an issue and bring it to the attention of their managers. And, it’s the management which “solves” these issues, albeit from an insulated position. When people who don’t struggle with the problems raised offer solutions to those problems, it’s most likely not  a complete solution. But conventional management leaves no room or time for employees to solve their own problems.

However, if managers and leaders took a step back and allowed their people to come up with solutions to the problems they raised, the story will be entirely different. Managers need to view themselves as facilitators first – they need to show their people that they are willing to trust them and wait until they can solve problems by themselves. Leaders need to rein themselves in and let employees take the lead.



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