Do Not Sit Silent

We have been following the story the past few days of Rene, who had been asked to participate as a senior manager on a hiring team. Rene was NOT the Hiring Manager (who will ultimately be held accountable for the output of the new hire), nor the Manager-Once-Removed (who will be held accountable for the quality of the decision of the Hiring Manager). Rene’s role was to participate, and in most companies, the accountability and authority of that role remains undefined, most of the effort is wasted.

Neither Rene nor the hiring team knew what to expect of her. Rene’s participation on this hiring team was NOT a managerial role, carried no managerial clout, yet had distinct cross-functional accountability and authority. Rene was playing a collateral role at Stratum IV, collateral to the Manager-Once-Removed.

The collateral cross-functional role carries three distinct characteristics.

  • Rene has clear access to the MOR (and the Hiring Manager) to persuade
  • Rene has clear access to the MOR (and the Hiring Manager) to explain
  • If there is disagreement between Rene and the MOR, then they must do what the CEO expects them to do. If that expectation is not clear, they must consult the CEO for clarity.

So, Rene has clear accountability and authority. If Rene observes that a defined process is not being followed, I would hold her accountable for approaching the team to explain the process and to persuade the team to follow the process. It is not Rene’s role to sit silent in those meetings.

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