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Processes don't create ownership, people do

2 min read - 253 words
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    Florian Bellmann
Processes don't create ownership, people do

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Every company wants to have a team of people who take ownership of their work. It's a key factor in the success of a project and organisation as a whole. But it's hard.

Processes address only the symptoms

The tendency to create processes and guidelines to enforce ownership is a common pitfall. It makes the behaviour of people that take ownership more tangible and therefore more measurable for management. Having only processes in place though, that are potentially tied to performance evaluations, will solely reinforce the behaviours of people who already take ownership and frustrate the rest of the team. They are not addressing the root cause. Ownership is something that people feel and behaviour that they live.

It's a mentoring task

Since it's a behavioural and mindset change, it's a task for leaders to mentor and guide their team members to take more ownership. It's about creating an environment in which people feel safe to take risks and make decisions on their own.

Ownership must be developed and nurtured continuously. It's a prolonged effort. There is no shortcut. One has to explain the why, the vision and everyone's contribution to it, again and again. Mentoring, truly taking time and leading by example are the way to build the desired culture. Leaders must influence and inspire the people around them to do the same.

When was the last time you took ownership, led by example and maybe even inspired someone?