The Four I’s of High Engagement Teams Pt. 3: Inspect

Set the vision, goal, and objectives with your team. Then, inspect and certify their work meets those objectives. Give your team room and allow them freedom to think and work creatively, and try to avoid going instructions on how to accomplish the objective.

There was a recent occasion when I didn’t follow this advice. A critical path task emerged and it seemed I was the only team member with the requisite knowledge to do the work in the allotted time. Knowing the time-sensitivity and having confidence I could accomplish the task on time myself, I took the task in a rare moment of being “working manager,” as if there isn’t such a thing.

After taking longer than I expected and putting the project at risk of missing a deadline, one person on my team spoke up. “Brett, why don’t we do this instead?” Indeed, their solution was elegant and a completely different approach to accomplishing the objective. Had I stuck with setting vision, goals, objectives and inspecting and certifying the work, perhaps we wouldn’t have wasted project time.

A book that I will review here sometime, “Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders”, has a similar concept.