To become an outstanding organisation, we need to both let go of control and expect much more of one another. If we can manage this feat, you will be surrounded by a team who can solve problems, speak with candour, communicate expectations and give one another the space and support to achieve fantastic results for children and families. This is what we call a culture of freedom and responsibility.
How do we make it happen? Freedom without responsibility results in chaos – confusion, frustration, a lack of accountability. Responsibility without freedom breeds a rigid focus on following rules and process, even when professional judgement and creativity would produce better results. It can result in people doing things right without doing the right thing. Because of this, we need to have huge levels of both freedom and responsibility. The most important word is not freedom, nor responsibility, but and.
You can read our full culture paper here or find out more about how they work in practice in the videos below.
1. Have fewer but better rules
Do away with rules, processes and policies that only serve to add complexity, slow us down or respond to a small number of people not taking responsibility or acting in Frontline’s best interests
2. Act without permission to make things better
When you encounter a problem or come up with an idea to improve something, ask yourself the question: “if not me, then who?”
3. Surround yourself with excellent performers
For true freedom, we need to work in a team where every single person is thriving as an excellent performer. Excellence is defined as having the motivation, behaviours and skill to do amazing work. While allowing room for difference and creativity, we must all be able to consistently deliver great outcomes.
4. Get and give clarity
All of us need clarity in our roles and to be crystal clear on expectations. It’s impossible to know what freedom and responsibility we have unless our roles are clear. Though it’s your manager’s job to set expectations for what you should achieve, don’t wait to be told if you’re not sure.
5. Be radically candid
Feedback is the oxygen of freedom and responsibility. Without it, we stop setting expectations and communicating disappointments. Teams can then quickly become toxic. Feedback can start with praising frequently. Making the effort to give people targeted praise when they have done something well makes it more likely they will do it again.
6. Learn from our frontline
The purpose of freedom and responsibility is to do the best work possible to achieve our mission. It’s not a ‘nice to have’, but an essential part of making change happen.
7. Fail well
Everyone fails. However, not everyone uses these moments as powerful opportunities to learn. Failure is a natural part of the process of having ambitious goals, taking calculated risks and succeeding. Failing is painful. But if we put ego to one side, we grow and get better. If we can recognise and own our mistakes, we can learn huge amounts.
Know our purpose and strategy inside out
Each of us should have total confidence to which work we should say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This requires a comprehensive understanding of Frontline’s theory of change and strategy.