The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Choice as an objective

Jane wanted to involve her team and was searching for the best ways to do so. She wanted them to be heard and have the space to contribute. At the same time, she was finding herself constantly under her team’s scrutiny. They were constantly questioning planned decisions and suggesting options.

Working together, Jane realized that her team was doing what she had asked for. However, what she had not expected was that it also meant that nothing was decided, and whenever a decision seemed to have been taken it soon thereafter was questioned again.

By giving her team a broad scope of decisions to contribute to she was overwhelming her team.

Instead of involving them, she asked them to decide on questions for which she was responsible. In her mind, involving her team was limitless and what had become her task. She had shifted her priority from leading the team to deciding with her team. Leading would have meant providing her team with some guidance on the given choice, to help them see the context as well as the purpose of the decision. Being able to give guidance would have meant reducing the scope of decisions she was asking her team to contribute to. That is choosing where she was asking them to decide with her and what decisions would remain hers.

Her team was pleased to be involved, but at the same time, they were stressed and overwhelmed by the work they were asked to contribute to. They didn’t have the resources necessary to deliver both the work they were asked to do and the decisions they were asked to involve themselves in.

Time, energy, and decision power were not perceived as resources and thus not managed.


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