July 2017
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July 2017
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Nimble, Successful Organizations Allow Team Members to Work Autonomously
Monday, July 24, 2017

Want your employees to do great things? Put them in a position where they have to own the results. This is according to Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, an online marketplace based in Nashville, Tennessee, that connects homeowners to lawn-mowing professionals. Clayton’s philosophy is that for an organization to be truly successful, employees must be able to work with autonomy. This idea isn’t far-fetched, either. According to an April 2017 study from the University of Birmingham, employees actually want greater levels of autonomy. When they are granted more independence, it leads to higher levels of job satisfaction and positively affects their overall well-being. However, it’s ill-advised to suddenly let employees do whatever they want. First, you have to make sure the individual can handle working autonomously. That’s why it’s important to hire smart. Steve Jobs, one of the best business minds in recent memory, famously said, “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Trust that team members are going to be able to do their job without oversight, or don’t hire them in the first place. Additionally, to facilitate autonomy, managers must embrace an “ask forgiveness, not permission” mentality. “I want everyone to make a conscious decision in their work to move the company forward,” said Adam Lyons, the CEO and co-founder of The Zebra, a car insurance comparison website based in Austin. “If this means moving quickly and without direct permission, so be it. Red tape suffocates growth, creativity, and problem-solving. I want to eliminate it entirely.”

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