martinibuster - 6:49 pm on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)
I am not saying my way is the best way. Your way likely has many merits. However I do want to expand on my post to add more details for others who may be interested in the topic. I want to emphasize that the task based approach I am proposing is not the only way. It's likely the way that best fits my management style.
...but we want them to have the ability to make tactical decisions.
That's what I'm getting at. Tactical decisions can be scripted. Tactical decisions are scripted wherever you interact with a banker or a waitress. Before the Internet, in the real world, I managed several teams of people in different departments simulataneously. Each department was tasked with a different goal, each member of the department had unique and different tasks requiring specific skills. I found that it was enough for me to know the laws, rules, and regulations behind the why we did what we did. All the workers needed to know is what to do and how to do it. That's where the script comes in. This is the task-based approach to training workers. Tasked based training gives you a greater ability to control the outcome.
When you talk to someone at Netflix, Google, or your phone company, the responses you receive are according to a set of scripts they have been trained to use for given situations. It's enough to teach them how to drive. They don't need to know how to remove and replace the engine.
From my experience, most people, regardless of education, experience, and age will not be cut out for higher level understanding of a job. You can train someone to change oil and most workers will be content to do that until they get bored and move on to real estate or data entry. It's the rare worker who becomes intellectually engaged with their job and desires a deeper experience with it.
If you train your workers in a task-based fashion as I am suggesting then you will find individuals who take to the job like a fish to water. Those are the ones to promote to a higher level of management if they demonstrate the ability to communicate well with others, can work independently, and show initiative and creativity. Most people do not have these qualities, regardless of age, experience, and education.
I am managing several simultaneous link campaigns and I have found there are a limited set of responses necessary to the task. Rarely does a situation call for a new response. For every campaign there are a limited set of actions to be taken.
The above is not the only way to manage a team for link building. It's certainly not the best because I don't think there is a best way, only different ways. I'm certain there are other approaches. I am sharing my approach with the hope that others will step up and share about their approach to the job.