Permission Management

Some years back a very clever Marketing guy, called Seth Godin, helped us to understand ‘permission marketing’. A fascinating piece of insight that gave marketers something very tangible to hold on to and develop as a concept and idea. It’s one of the key reasons Facebook is so damned valuable. Users give permission to be advertised to through their use of the product.

And in recent times, something has been stirring in my mind. A manager in any business, has the primary role of doing what it says on the tin – to manage. Additionally, they have to recognise opportunities for development and enable this to happen. Direct reports are then made to feel valued and motivated to do more as their efforts are being recognised by someone in power.

In a post last week, I spoke about how someone needs to give permission to others for them to change. And this is what I’d like to pose. An employee of a company will want to, in most cases do well and succeed. But do they have permission to do this? I’m not speaking about performance management, and formal things such as promotions, etc. I’m talking about the culture promoted by the manager. Does the manager promote a culture where you have permission to do what you want?

In days gone by, this was called empowerment. It’s also called coaching and mentoring. So take any of those terms, and any of those theories, and it’s no stretch to consider what permission management can encompass. As a manager you give permission for your staff to do what they need to in order to succeed. They understand the parameters, the expectations, the goals and all that jazz.

And here’s the thing, what your staff are doing is their job. Because they’ve been given permission to do it. That is they have permission to do what they’re already expected to do. And because you, as the manager, have provided the attitude, environment, atmosphere, whatever you want to call it, you end up managing (hopefully) the ambitions of the team. That is, the other things are happening in accordance with such a positive set of planning and management that the team are just looking forward to doing their job.

Or I could be talking a load of crap and making a tenuous link between one model and another. Either way, the post was enjoyable enough to write 🙂