"Nose in, fingers out!"​

This is about senior leaders letting go of the reigns and learning not to meddle as teams take ownership of their own processes. You should still retain a close interest in how the business is doing (noise in) but without interfering in the day-to-day detail (fingers out).

Finding the right balance is about recognising that the business is a set of processes which needs to be captured, shaped and allowed to continuously evolve.

1. Identify 1-3 processes to tackle


Pick on the ones that:

  • Are important to your business

  • Frustrate you because they could be do so much better.

  • Are complicated an involve lots of steps.

  • Involve multiple people & departments working together.

2. Capture how things work


  • Capture an outline of how things work right now.

    • Step name​

    • Who performs the step

  • Don't get bogged down in the detail.

  • Don't start resigning anything.

You could use software to do this or alternatively Google Sheets, but keep it to a check-list style format.

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5. Introduce a feedback loop


You need to capture feedback so you can continuously improve. 

Add a feedback column that allows step owners to comment on each of the current steps, providing constructive feedback.

This is where the innovation bugs starts to grow!

5. Extend it


Once you have buy in to the approach and it's delivering value, should you extend it.

Buy then it's just a matter of identifying further processes .

Remember: Innovation and culture are key to any organisation’s success. 

It's by empowering employees that you can achieve a healthy workplace culture that drives innovation, and escape the helicopter mentality!

How can I escape being a Helicopter Manager?

3. Make things collaborative


Add a column for the description details and one for adding links to resources.


Invite people to provide their input, writing what they do and how they fit in.

4. Embed your first process


Each time you need to use a this process, add a column that the step owners can tick off as they have completed their step, allowing visibility for each person involved.