“To do otherwise, to create an org structure, working relationships based on something besides timespan, creates dysfunction within an organization?” I asked.
“One doesn’t have to work in a company for very long to have the following experience,” Pablo explained. “As a team member, have you ever had a manager who micro-managed your every step, who was always breathing down your neck?”
I nodded, “Yes.”
“And what did you think of that working relationship?” Pablo wanted to know.
“At first, mildly annoying, frustrating, then intolerable. A personality quirk,” I surmised.
“Rarely,” Pablo chuckled. “At your level-of-work, you were vested with an undefined timespan of discretion, decision making? Am I right?”
Another affirmative, “Yes.”
“And, because your authority to make a decision was not defined, your manager presumed to make your decisions for you. A micro-manager. In fact, and this goes all the way to the CEO, your manager did not trust you to make the decisions appropriate for your role, appropriate for your level-of-work.”
“And, accordingly, my manager was accountable for my output, so was accountable for my decisions, hence the distrust of my decisions,” I flatly stated.
“Without timespan,” Pablo said, “your manager had no defined criteria related to decision making appropriate to your role, appropriate to your level of work. But, with timespan, your manager has a very clear understanding of decision making appropriate to your level of work. With this understanding, those decisions delegated to you and those decisions reserved for your manager become clear. Your experience was not a personality quirk, it was ambiguity related to decision making and problem solving.”
“But, what if my manager still didn’t trust me to make the right decision,” I countered. “After all, my manager is accountable for my output.”
“That’s where timespan changes the game. Instead of an ambiguous level of distrust, your manager now has a clear idea of the authority required to be effective in your role.”
“Okay, my manager has a clear idea of the authority required, but still distrusts me.”
“Then, how did you end up in the role in the first place?” Pablo asked. “If your manager is accountable for your output, and knows precisely the timespan of discretion, it is incumbent on your manager to hire a person who has the capability, necessary experience and skill to make those decisions. Timespan becomes an accurate measure of decision making.”