If you have studied some Economics, you already have a clue of what this Management Style is:
- “Laissez-Faire” is a French expression used in Economics to refer to “letting the Market adjust itself.”
Don’t interfere with the Market, we could say.
And, that is, more or less, what a Laissez-Faire Management Style is:
- Give freedom to the Team Members to meet the Goals, in the way they prefer.
But, before you run off and propose to your Boss that he lets you do whatever you want…
… Let’s see what usually characterizes this type of management:
Characteristics of Laissez-Faire Management
The Manager Organizes the Team with Defined Goals.
- Otherwise, it would be a complete disaster.
There must be Clear Deadlines, which should be respected.
- Freedom does not equal chaos.
The Team works in a highly Coordinated way.
- The Last thing you want to to have 2 people working on the same thing.
Team members have proven to be trustworthy in the past.
- This Management Style is usually reserved for experienced professionals.
As you can see, this Management Style is not as simple as “just letting everybody do whatever they want”.
There must be:
Let’s see some examples of Projects where this type of Management is often used:
Examples of Laissez-Faire Management
Creative Projects related to Art or Design.
- Those in which there are no “sudden changes”.
Designing a New Product.
- In brainstorming stages, this Management Style can boost creativity.
In Technological highly-interconnected Projects.
- Projects in which different parts can be developed in parallel.
As you can imagine, this Management Style is not suitable for all types of Projects.
Many Projects need a “Dictator” to “steer the wheel” and weather the storms.
- Unpopular decisions are easier to make by a single individual.
Here you have the Pros and Cons of this Management Style:
Pros and Cons of a Laissez-Faire Management
- It can be Stimulating for the Team Members.
- It can Boost Efficiency and Creativity, as people tend to do what they’re best at.
- Autonomy: the Team doesn’t depend too much on its Manager.
- You need the Team Members to be very professional.
- It can create grievances if someone sees that he does more than the rest.
- The Team can get too used to not following direct orders.