Business Transformation requires planned delegation – abdication is to be avoided

Delegation is a normal part of our lives as leaders and managers. We can legitimately delegate to our managers and leaders when:

  1. It aligns with their agreed role.
  2. Scarce technical knowledge is needed.
  3. There is a development opportunity.
  4. A project is required – when the delegation is to a project team.

As leaders and managers we should look to delegate responsibility as close to the operational and delivery areas as possible provided we have taken all the steps necessary to enable their success.

However we have all been guilty at times of saying that we have delegated when we have in fact abdicated our responsibility. For example:

  1. We wish to avoid personal conflict.
  2. We want to avoid responsibility for a high profile decision.
  3. We wish to avoid the hard work of understanding the options or a proposal (note – this is not the same as delegating technical decisions to experts but remaining responsible for an overall business decision).

As leaders we cannot abdicate responsibility for transformation – what is our role if not leading and directing the future?

What is the role of delegation in the delivery of a transformation programme? The Senior Leadership Team will delegate:

  1. Responsibility for leading the delivery of the transformation programme to the Programme Sponsor (Senior Responsible Officer).
  2. The development of a business proposal or solution to the programme or project teams, with the final decision resting with the Senior Leadership Team.
  3. The implementation of an agreed proposal or solution to the programme or project team.

It is vital that the Senior Leadership Team are thorough in initiating the Transformation Programme by developing the Need for Change and Vision and they continue their support through involved governance.

The Senior Leadership Team remain responsible for ensuring that the transformation team(s) are given every opportunity to succeed and to ensure that what is agreed and implemented will meet the organisation need and vision.

Andrew Kearns
Hartswood Management Ltd
Delivering real transformation

Suggestions for further actions:

  1. Read Changing Spots – a systems approach to change management for understanding how a senior leadership team can work in partnership with a transformation programme team (see

For advice on structuring your transformation or change programme please email

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