Closest to the Problem

‟The wisest decisions are made by those closest to the problem—regardless of seniority.”
Stanley McChrystal, Retired Four-star General, US Army

Soldier Relief in Haiti - thanks to familymwr CC flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5281555056/
I read this in Fast Company (I don’t know which recent edition), and it stuck with me for weeks. How often do we make the mistake of not listening to the front-line employee? In fact, aren’t many systems put in place to filter input from the front-line up through management to senior management to CEO, before a change even gets made?

What about reversing that? What if the front-line had the power?

What industries do the front-line have the power? Military, education, medicine. Those are some I can think of, with teachers losing more power each year, and incomes decreasing relative to the average.

Additional food for thought: As systems increase, does tactical influence decrease in importance? Perhaps it’s better to be more like McDonald’s and less like Seal Team 6.

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