Peter Tuybens likes to talk about self-organisation. A manager is increasingly expected to explain the ‘why’ and the ‘what’, but to let go of the ‘how’.
Managers who cannot, are doomed to failure. “A term I sometimes use is the evolution to ‘the boss on call’. If you say less yourself about how employees should carry out the process and emphasise that they themselves should take up their mandate, you can evolve into a leader on call. He or she is there when needed, for example during a crisis. What do you need to be successful or to make your work easier: these are questions that managers still ask too little spontaneously. Some employees are happier when they receive some guidance. Then it’s up to the manager to deal with them optimally. There is still a lot of work to be done in that area”.

Implement change to more self-leadership? 

Peter Tuybens: “These are questions that I regularly receive. Start small. With a bit of luck you’ll have an oil slick principle.  If employees feel that they are working with more goes, then that expands. More trust is given, more mandates, and so on”.

Silos down? 

Peter Tuybens fully agrees. “You have to dare to look outside walls and provoke curiosity in all possible directions. You often see that managers do not want to unload the good employees in their team. In that case, you are not working in the interests of the organisation, but you are working out of self-interest, because that is how you achieve better results. Another phenomenon is the tendency to focus on what employees do not do. Let’s accept, especially with the current labour market tightness, that everyone has a “loose screw”. You do not necessarily have to work on that zone, but you have to give confidence. That takes time. 

Peter has the feeling that there is more and more tolerance in this area. “The manager who shares with his/her management ‘I don’t know any more, help me’: ten years ago that was still a sign of weakness. This also has to do with the younger generation. There is more transparency. Maybe that is a trigger for more vulnerability among managers. By saying it, you put less pressure on employees and you build that trust“. `

Peter Tuybens: “Blocking career opportunities for team members with potential is a major obstacle. For the most complex jobs, it takes three to four years to master them. It is never wrong for HR to organise a process to ask people who have been in the job for three or four years how they see their job, what they would rather do, what gives them energy or costs them. This is how you break through the process. Not with the fear or the obligation to change, but to arouse curiosity. Because after three years you risk that employees are left behind or feel too comfortable. You have to give them a chance to discuss it, certainly because the labour market is stuck. We use the term ‘rematching’ there: how can you bring the ‘match’ into discussion? Sooner or later, you have to be able to see what you have in house to fill in the roles and functions”.