By Jeff Brunings
Self-Managing Teams Rock – Here’s Why

We’ve been talking a lot lately about driving results from the bottom up and the impact it has on an organization. By bottom up we’re talking about people throughout the organization taking ownership and accountability for the contributions they own. Sure, it drives engagement. But it also delivers clarity and focus. And most importantly, it drives sustainable performance because there are more people leading throughout the organization than simply those few people on the management team.

In addition to all those great things something else happens, too. Teams are able to self-manage. And self-managing teams rock. Here’s why:

They don’t require micro management. Employees don’t like being micromanaged. Bosses don’t like micromanaging. When your team is self-managing, you (the boss) have more time to work on things that truly matter.

They are more innovative. Instead of simply checking boxes/doing what they’re told they are exploring creative, new ways to achieve the outcomes they are responsible for.

Meetings are more productive. Self-managing teams show up on time and come prepared. You have the information you need to make important decisions about your business.

Self-managing teams don’t happen overnight. But with a little focus, commitment and given the right tools we see it happening more often than you’d think.

Here are a few places to start:

  1. Members of self-managing teams each have individual outcomes. Every person has an objective tied to them and are awarded the freedom to achieve it the way they best see fit.
  2. Allow people to take risks. Self-managing teams are empowered to make decisions without feeling someone is going to get fired if something goes wrong the first time.
  3. Self-managing teams depend on their bosses to overcome roadblocks, provide executive sponsorship and help drive necessary cross-team cooperation and prioritization.

To get it right takes practice. Run it by your team. See what’s important to them. Ask how they’d prefer to start running with the ball, how decisions are made, and how results are communicated. Do this and you’re already one step closer to having a team that’s ready to manage themselves.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.