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  • Writer's pictureHalldor Kvale-Skattebo

The Tight-Loose-Tight Approach to Employee Success

Tight-Loos-Tight (TLT) is a leadership methology that is easy to implement and on the rise in the Norwegian market..

One of the key benefits of the tight-loose-tight approach is that it allows employees to progress at their own pace. They can start out with clear rules and guidelines, and then gradually gain more responsibility and autonomy as they prove themselves. This can help to motivate and engage employees, as they feel like they are constantly progressing and growing. Additionally, this approach can also help to reduce stress levels, as employees are not constantly being monitored and micromanaged.

The tight-loose-tight approach is a simple way to think about employees’ success. The basic idea is that you start with a clear vision and strategy (the “tight” part), This is where the leader provides direction and sets expectations. Then loosen up and give employees more freedom and flexibility (the “loose” part), provides resources and allows employees to use their discretion in how they achieve the goals. And then finally tighten up again with coaching and feedback (the “tight” part). This approach can be very effective in promoting employee success.

If you want to implement the tight-loose-tight approach in your own business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, it’s important to have a clear vision and strategy. This will provide direction and set expectations for employees. Next, you need to loosen up and give employees more freedom and flexibility. This means providing resources and allowing them to use their discretion in how they achieve the goals. Finally, you need to tighten up again with coaching and feedback. This will help to ensure that employees are on track and meeting the goals.

Another benefit of this approach is that it fosters a culture of servant leadership. When leaders are tight with their rules and requirements, they are effectively saying “I know what’s best for you.” However, when they loosen up and give employees more freedom, they are saying “I trust you to make the right decisions.” And when they tight up again with coaching and feedback

When executed well, this approach can lead to employees who are highly engaged and motivated. They know what is expected of them and they have the resources they need to succeed. And, most importantly, they receive feedback that helps them improve their performance.

Servant leadership is very important in this approach, and if you can "let loose" and delegate decisions and trust to the employees, great goals will be achieved. Look at yourself and your management group as "Leadership as a service" (LaaS) that can be called for if there are needs for a decision in certain cases. Normally in a Tight-Loose-Tight organization, the daily decisions are made by the enablers (middle management), the team leads or by the teams themselves, but if these decisions-points cannot agree, or the case itself needs a decision from the management/c-level, the Laws is needed. That means that you will be available for those kinds of decisions but trust the organization in doing the right things to get the flow running, getting things done, and gain value for your customers.

Where is your organization in this approach? Do you have a clear vision and strategy? Do you provide adequate resources, including training and development? Do you give employees the autonomy to do their jobs? Do you provide feedback that is timely, specific, and actionable? If not, it might be time for a change.

Expleo Group Norway provides both leadership coaching in TLT, and training in Leadership as a Service. Please see this page


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