I have recently taken a new position as the Deputy Chief for our branch. As the Deputy, my job is to stay on top of tasks assigned by the Chief to ensure they are completed by the staff on time and up to standards. But, as the Deputy, the "directs" aren't really [i]my[/i] directs, they are the Chief's directs. The Chief isn't into doing O3s just yet with the Branch; but as the Deputy who is responsible for managing the work, I sure am!

How can O3s be approached/conducted when the "directs" don't report directly to you? There are eight people in the branch. A couple could be considered "equal" in rank [to me] and the rest could be considered "lower" in rank.

Any help or advice from the field is greatly appreciated!

juliahhavener's picture
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As a lead in my organization, I was in a similar position as you are now (in terms of authority/relative positioning). I did not institute "formal" O3s, but I did spend time talking to each member of the team. We discussed all of the key pieces included in a one on one and set coaching goals, etc. My supervisor and I frequently discussed what was going on with each member from both of our perspectives. My relationship with that supervisor was unique and we worked extremely well as a team.

Talk to your Chief, between the two of you, you may find the perfect solution.

uagrad's picture

Thanks, Julia. I appreciate your comments. I continue to look forward to any others who may want to weigh in on the topic.

bflynn's picture

A situation like this, I go back to the purpose of O3s - to promote communciations and build relationships. There are some aspects of O3s that presume seniority, but not many.

As the Deputy, would it benefit your job to meet weekly with these people in an O3 type setting? If so, then go through the O3 steps and eliminate those that don't apply to you. Talk with your boss, explain why you want to do and why. With his support, O3s will happen.

If there are directs who don't want O3, you might not have direct authority to compel them. However, those who do O3s with you are going to give you more information and you'll naturally make them look better. There may be some who want to end-run you...different problem.



uagrad's picture

Thanks, Brian, that is helpful. I like the approach you took...looking at the "purpose" of the O3 and making sure those are the things that are hit in a dedicated weekly one-on-one meeting.

Could you expound, though, on what you meant by "end run"? I wasnt' sure I understood what you were getting at what that part.

Thanks for the input!

bflynn's picture

Sorry - end run is an (American) football analogy that has crept into the (American) business world. Basically it means to break the normal protocol and go around someone. Its possible that some people will think they're too important to deal with anyone other than The Boss and will just go around you, directly to him.