The Art of Delegation

I’m rather peeved. I’ve had a few days to calm down, and I’m still somewhat irritated.

Whenever a committee is set up to decide on an upcoming project, that committee needs to be empowered. It is beyond stupidity to set up a committee and have the person running the committee say, “I like it. But I need to run it by my boss.”

In that case, what is the point of the committee? There is none! If all the decisions are made up by the boss, then why waste the time of everyone in the committee if the committee can’t make the final decision in the first place? Aaargh!

9 Comments

  1. I tend to operate under the assupmtion that committees make recommendations or conclusions, but seldom actually make decisions. I "define:"d it on Google and came up with quite a few definitions, some ending with a decision, some not.

    A committee is probably the easiest way to get a bunch of people together to talk about the same thing. Bring a diverse group of people together, talk about a topic from various angles, then make a recommendation. I think it is hard for committees to make decisions. As you said, "the art of delegation". If someone delegates something to a committee, the committee can't take responsibility (how do you hold a committee liable?). Ultimately, it is the one who delegated in the first place who takes the responsibility of the decision. Maybe he/she will go with what the committee recommended, maybe not.

    So, yeah, committees tend to appear fairly useless, but with a good boss, they can probably be very influential and not without a point.

    cetroyer

  2. I really dislike the CYA attitude that some bosses exhibit.

    I am still of the opinion that a committee is pretty useless if it is not empowered. If a committee is started with the sole purpose to make several recommendations, then that objective should be explicit. When a committee is started to decide on certain elements and a "boss figure" can override those elements, then that committee was started in vain and everybody who committed time and energy to that committee did so for no reason.

  3. Just to clarify, do you dislike that some bosses CYA, or the attitude they have while CYAing?

    I'm wondering why you thought that committees actually do something. In my mind, I don't think I've ever associated committees and action/decision. Just curious. 🙂

    Don't let me downplay your frustration. I'd be annoyed in the same situation, too. Maybe we just need to lower our expectations. 🙂

    cetroyer

  4. Mmm. First, off let me say that I understand the frustration. Secondly, I think what you're looking at is the diffence between a kingdom and a democracy… and here comes my bunny trail rant that may or may not have anything to do with what you said (feel free to delete after reading it :-))

    Historically, democracies have lasted around 200 years before collapsing. I guess America is setting a record, but is still following the trend for destruction.

    To quote Alexander Tyler,a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh;

    "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government."

    "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."

    "From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

    "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the
    beginning of history, has been about 200 years."

    "During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
    2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
    3. from courage to liberty;
    4. from liberty to abundance;
    5. from abundance to complacency;
    6. from complacency to apathy;
    7. from apathy to dependence;
    8. From dependence back into bondage"

    Just some thoughts on Democracy. I love America and am a grateful man, don't get me wrong. But Biblical government is not a democracy, it is a kingdom. I'm sure your blog focus wasn't democracy v. kingdom, but there you have my rant.

  5. I face this situation everyday. I have to report to 2 of them so none of them get angry its sucks though

  6. Ashish,

    Two bosses? I guess whatever pays the bills.

  7. Josh,

    That's a scary cycle. Of course, with democracy comes bureaucracy.

  8. Here comes Dogbert!

    Ashish, watch Office Space! 😀

  9. @Ronald:yeah, I have Team Lead and The Project Manager both on my head. The TL wants everything to go through him so he can put his stamp "I told him to do that " when eh reports to Project Manager , so I report to both of them in gap of 30 seconds lol so The PM knows what I did was what I did.

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