This speedy, practical read is full of constructive ideas to help managers empower their people and create a happy workplace. The point that caught my attention was around the idea of preapproval. I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t say yes to freeing up more time, especially when the trade-off includes a more empowered team, with greater ownership and the potential to come up with even better solutions (with you out of the way!).

Preapproval is a simple idea. It involves asking yourself: What can you fully brief to the person responsible for doing the work, leaving them to get on with it and doing the approval themselves?

Henry asks:

“Where do you still assume it’s your job to work out the best way for people to do things? And what would life be like if you gave up on that, and saw your key role as supporting others to make decisions and come up with their own solutions?” 

We think we add value through our experience and knowledge, which enables us to approve things (or not). However, if we shifted the focus to answer this question:

“What knowledge do you or your managers have that, if you passed it on to your people, would enable you to step out of approval?”  

…then this lets us move out of the way. For this to work, the briefing and sharing of knowledge is critical, and is where our energy needs to go. However, it doesn’t mean that things go unchecked; instead, there might be other experts who can help. This is all about sharing the knowledge.

So, what can you preapprove today? What will save you time and potentially get you an even better result?

This is part of the One Point series of blogs. If you ever finish reading a book, decide you love it, then promptly forget about it… that makes two of us. This blog captures one insight from each non-fiction book that I have read and enjoyed, to act as a conversation starter and a prompt for now and the future. Each post is not a summary of the book and may not even include the main thrust of it, but they will feature an interesting point that you can quickly digest, bookmark and maybe even share. Check out One Point in Categories.

The Happy Manifesto – Make Your Organisation A Great Workplace by Henry Stewart

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