William L. McKnight, who served as 3M chairman of the board from 1949 to 1966, encouraged 3M management to "delegate responsibility and encourage men and women to exercise their initiative."
His management theories are the guiding principles for 3M. His basic rule of management was laid out in 1948:
So what was this guy saying?"As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way."Mistakes will be made.
But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs."Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it's essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow."
- He says ‘delegate’, which essentially means trust your people’s ability to deliver.
- He says ‘it is to okay fail’ because when you try out new things failures are likely to happen.
- He says ‘encourage initiatives’…this is not by writing grand vision statements, but by conducting yourself in the right manner. Giving‘latitude’ to employees to do their own thing. (Google’s 20% work culture fits here)
Time to think…