The Power of Layering Models

The Power of Layering Models

We love a good mental model, especially a shared mental model. Good models help you make sense of some aspect of the world, giving you more power to act in that space. Shared models let groups of people reason about and act more powerfully in the world together.

Jurgen Appelo’s 7 Levels of Delegation is one of those useful models that becomes particularly useful when shared. We use it on our team to align around how we’re going to make decisions.

In this week’s Humanizing Work Show, we share how the 7 Levels of Delegation got even more useful when we layered it with another model, our own Three Jobs of Management. We give an overview of Jurgen’s delegation model and talk through how layering that with the Three Jobs model gave one of our clients a really clear path to raise the level of empowerment on her team. In other words, the combo of those two models answers questions like, “I’d like to be able to delegate X to my employee, but I don’t feel comfortable doing so. How do I get us there?”

When we shared this in our Leadership Community of Practice last week, a participant added another layer: Cynefin, our favorite model for thinking about complexity. Adding in Cynefin helped inform, “Out of all the things I’d like to empower my team to own, which ones should I work towards delegating first?” If you’re a Leadership CoP member, check out the session recording (any alumni of our courses are eligible to join).

How have you experienced the power of layered models in the past? Which useful models have become even more useful for you and your team when combined?

If you’re interested in learning more about our Three Jobs of Management model, join us for a virtual, half-day workshop on May 1 from 9:00am – 1:00pm MST. Click here to register and use coupon code WEN20230227 for $100 off!­

And another thing…

In our Leadership CoP session, one participant mentioned, a bit tongue in cheek, that his goal this year was to make a career-limiting move. The not so tongue in cheek goal, though, was to be more bold, to see if standing up for something that felt both important and risky would shift things a bit. Several of us nodded our heads as we thought about similar moves we’ve made in our careers, both intentionally and unintentionally. Sometimes you reach a point where you need to decide that the risk is worth it, you want to test if standing up for what matters will create positive momentum for change in the organization. While it can feel like a potentially career-limiting move, our experience has been that it often turns into a career-defining one.

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