But what exactly do these numbers mean? Are higher numbers of positive answers always good? That depends on the question, and where the answers come from. Different environments and different missions call for different cultures….. and leadership styles that work within those cultures.
If you’re manufacturing pharmaceuticals, then you expect that every molecule you produce will be exactly identical. That calls for stringent standards and rigid adherence to policies and procedures. You might not want individuals routinely making independent decisions. Financial institutions operate in similar fashion. Details and minutiae are important in the delivery of tasks and projects according to ‘generally accepted accounting principles’.
On the other hand, employees working at an amusement park or a hotel must be prepared for the unexpected. They need to make real time decisions affecting the ‘guest experience’. Precise expectations and policies can’t always be expressed in advance.
You can see from these examples how ‘making independent decisions’ and ‘questioning management’s judgment’ might be good in one environment and bad in another.
But regardless of your industry, everyone deals with the unexpected. Conflict can arise any time. Mistakes can occur, expectations can change. A typically rigid operating environment can become fluid in a hurry.
When things go wrong, you need creative problem-solvers. Open communication and cooperation can keep things running smoothly. A positive corporate culture encourages people to work together and feel comfortable taking a risk. And, people feel open to question management if necessary.