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Partnering Within IT

In a business with a true partnership structure, every member of a department needs to understand and be kept up to date on any information that relates to what that member is doing and what all the department's partners are doing. Delegation of authority to the lowest practical level allows new ideas to be tested constantly on the front lines, in multiple situations, simultaneously. After all, many opportunities are recognized only at the front lines. These opportunities may be fleeting if not recognized at the source when they occur. Delegation encourages creativity. Over-communication is demanded. Managers will never have as much information as all of their people on the front lines. Relevant information must flow upward and downward with enough breadth to allow individual perspectives to be applied. A manager cannot be at every subordinate's shoulder at every minute of every day. Every subordinate needs to be able to react, make decisions, and inform the manager of relevant facts.

All staff members need to be mentored to recognize these opportunities. Opportunities may result in efficiencies, operational effectiveness, cost savings, new markets, competitive advantages, or strategic shortcomings. The gathering of intelligence takes place at all levels of the organization. The analysis of this intelligence likewise takes place at all levels of the organization. A free flow of intelligence needs to take place continuously. The synergistic application of human experience to this flow of intelligence leads to far more effective solutions than a simple hierarchical structure can hope to achieve. It's the exact opposite of information hoarding. Information hoarding is an obstacle to success; information sharing is partnering.

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