November 2010

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MBM Principal Sources

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06 July 2010


Jonny B

Just went back and watched Charles' Video on the challenge process.
You should say something.
Maybe she has a plan for action that would leverage the potential mistake. Maybe she honestly is missing the potential for disaster.

David McGinnis

A few sub-buzz words come to mind: "Eliminate Waste" and "Proactively share your knowledge..."

Which is worth more in the long term? Her sense of autonomy, or the project? And how much will you really eat into her sense of autonomy if you merely suggest or point out something and not actually make a change?

I've taken to pointing out what i thought was obvious to some individuals that weren't exactly looking for my input, but in the end were glad that I said something.

As far as technique goes, i would keep this little cliche in mind:

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Tammy Carroll

I agree that you should say something to her and it can be done without threatening her "ownership" of the project or her autonomy. I think it would be more complex if you had given the project to someone that was not a direct report. But, I'm not sure my answer would change anyway.
If the project was originally determined to add value, then you can't afford to sacrifice that potential contribution just to avoid stalling her professional development. You could, in fact, turn the situation into a great learning experience for her that she'll use later in her carrer.

Andy Gillette

Great motto, DM.

Andy Gillette

I really like Tammy's idea of "turn[ing] the situation into a great learning experience for her"; then the tradeoff becomes investing time into the immediate coaching vs. coaching later. I like how it emphasizes the role of the manager as a leader (as opposed to a resource allocator).

mbm master

I agree with Tammy. You cannot afford to loose the value creation.

In this situation you want to coach now. It is a critical decsion and at a critical point for the success of the project.

Perhaps the question is about the type of teaching. In this case it is preemptive coaching. But in another case when the mistake is not as high profile, the correct teaching style may be from failure.


The Third Habit from Covey's "Seven Habits" I think can offer some good advice here. Stephen gave his son charge over the yard and he had to decide if he should exert his authority and knowledge when it wasn't getting taken care of. Ultimately, he did it by coaching - he made his son his own boss, the only requirement was that his son report to his dad twice a week as they walk around the yard and the son explain how it is going.

What would nesting look like in an economy? I think it's generally best to let people have their private property and do whatever they want with it. no need to let a bureaucracy have the final say in the name of a better world.

In the same way nesting should be rare in the work environment. Share knowledge, yes, but be careful how it is shared - could be done too authoritarian and learning doesn't actually happen. Usually giving people full ownership and responsibility of their mistakes or successes is where the mos effective learning happens (at least, that's the way it's been in my own experience)

Andy Gillette

I think this paragraph from the Institute for Justice hits on an important societal/Science of Liberty aspect that might be informative when thinking about decision rights (to an extent):

"Mired in a nationwide jobless recovery, state and local governments have the power to create jobs and transform communities if they do one simple thing: get out of the way." More here:

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