I have worked with clients on their businesses and when asked about some detail like ” what profit margin do you make on that product” or “how many hours do your people work on average”, they don’t know.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about micromanagement here – I am a firm believer in systems and procedures and a living vision that explain to team members what they do, how they should do it, and why they should do it, leaving you to concentrate on strategic matters that have impact.
However, you do need to know, nay, must know, the detail of your business model and your business functions.
When I was in my thirties, my mother developed terminal cancer and I looked after her palliative care at home because she wanted to die at home. I was assisted by an effective tertiary care medical system – home nurses, oncology visits, medical equipment supplied and so on. Her GP was also mine and once he asked me what medication she was getting and I replied “I don’t know, some large white pills that the oncologist prescribed” thinking that was the affair of professionals whom I had delegated professional care to. My GP looked me in the eye and said:-
“From now on, you cannot say ‘I don’t know’; from now on her care is your responsibility; you must know what she is prescribed by name, you must know what it is for, you must know its effects and side-effects. You cannot abrogate that knowledge to others.”
I remember that incident every time a client tells me she doesn’t know some detail of her business.
You can delegate work and authority, but you cannot abrogate responsibility.
For many of us small business owners, our business is so much a part of our lives it’s health affects our health. While you can delegate treatment of a condition like insufficient marketing, why would you delegate knowledge about its causes?
What do you think? Do you agree? Have you ever abrogated knowledge? Leave a comment or “like”.