It’s the unlovely little secret of most organizations. It’s the universal challenge facing those responsible for the work of others. It’s the sand in the gears of group productivity.
What is it? Delegating, that’s what. Poor or nonexistent delegating.
Delegating is the reason we have managers. The managers’ job is to clarify and specify what is to be done, then subdivide the workload and assign suitable portions of it to the various people who are under the managers’ direction. Sometimes it works. When it does, it produces results whose quantity and quality rise well above the possible accumulation of individual outcomes from the same workforce.
When delegating doesn’t work, which is often, it is because the managers haven’t successfully set the goals, identified the work and transferred the responsibility. Alternatively, it doesn’t work because the delegatees haven’t done their part. They haven’t gotten it done correctly, or on time. And sometimes it doesn’t get done because it never really was assigned at all.