The Growth Curve:
Delegating without Fear

So your business made it through some initial chaos and moved into growth mode. Long-term goals have been set, teams have rallied behind clearly defined and aligned SMART objectives, and progress is being tracked and measured.

The newfound structure has created a sense of winning at work, and everyone is having fun.

But like all good things, this winning and fun cannot be enjoyed indefinitely without a definitive plan for sustaining it.  It is often during this phase of growth that the entrepreneur realizes that while business is increasing so are responsibilities.  As the to-do list grows longer and the available number of requisite hours for these tasks grows seemingly shorter, the entrepreneur must face the daunting task of sharing the workload.

That brings us to the dreaded D-word – Delegation.  Like the word “no,” “delegation” can be allergy inducing for most entrepreneurs. The mere idea implies a loss of power and an inability to manage one’s responsibilities. There’s also frequently an overriding fear that no one else could possibly do it as well as you could.  While all valid concerns, they are easily dissolved with the application of a few key techniques.

Once again, we ask the burning question … How?

The key is to get clear on three things:

  • Who is working on what
  • How the work being done is connected across the organization
  • When can the leader see the progress being made and/or roadblocks to alleviate

Who’s working on what

To delegate means to assign work to someone.  Work that’s unassigned is work that won’t get done.  Within MyObjectives, part of the scorecard setup process involves completing a RACI (Responsible, Approver, Consulted, Informed) role assignment for every objective.

By documenting who is Responsible for the work, who will be the final Approver, who may need to be Consulted, and who should be kept Informed, the leader can delegate without fear, knowing that considerations for the level of effort and the necessary participants have been made.

Additionally, this ability to assign varying degrees of responsibility empowers team members to design not only “what” will be worked on, but “how” it will get done.

Connect the work across the organization

Work done in a silo hamstrings broad business success. However, when synergies exist across teams and departments and everyone is aligned, the path to sustained success becomes more accessible.  MyObjectives connects teams and their objectives with other teams’ objectives.

This idea of linkage, where one user’s score is partially based on the efforts made by another user on that objective, and vice versa, is a key tenet to aligning work across the organization.  A second layer of connectivity can be added for team leaders in the form of scorecard summaries.  This functionality allows the leader’s scorecard to summarize the scores from his/her direct reports on areas that matter the most.

Checking progress

The importance of frequent check-ins cannot be understated, and it is an industry best practice to hold team check-ins at least once a week.  During this time, individuals can discuss progress, flag roadblocks, or ask for help on challenging objectives. MyObjectives includes features specifically designed to facilitate these discussions.

Business leaders obviously can’t be involved in every team check-in, but with MyObjectives they don’t have to be. Several reports provide a high-level glance at how teams are progressing on their goals.  Team leaderboards, weekly trending score charts and goal alignment graphs are just a few ways MyObjectives makes it easy for you to put your trust in your organization and to delegate with confidence.

Check out the earlier parts to our Growth Curve series if you haven’t already:

Solving Early Chaos

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Paul Niven

Paul Niven is a management consultant, an author and a public speaker on the subjects of corporate strategy and performance management systems, like the Balanced Scorecard.

Ben Lamorte

Ben Lamorte is the founder and president of He advises business leaders on the best methods for defining and making measurable progress on their most important goals.

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