October '17

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OCTOBER 2017 THE SHOP 77 to share power. They hold on tightly to it. However, this philosophy seriously retards the accomplishment of extraor- dinary things through mutual, collective efforts. This is the real barrier to empower- ment: when managers and even employees hoard whatever power they have. This generates powerlessness in others. In turn, it generates organizational systems where political skills become business as usual. These are actively used to cover oneself and pass the buck. They become the preferred styles for han- dling interdepartmental differences and lagging productivity and results. At the same time, these actions and their motives create disharmony and roadblocks to co- operative and creative efforts for necessary innovation. An organization will find its products, quality and services suffer when these wanting political skills are consistently applied, and where eliminating them is overlooked or ignored. Failing to Provide Organizational Dis- cretion & Autonomy Applying discretion and autonomy within an organization comes from actively sup- porting its members and trusting in their ability to take decisive action whenever and wherever necessary. It includes the right to exercise independent judgment, and to make decisions that affect how one does his or her job without having to check in with upper levels every time issues and concerns surface. Without embracing and promoting elements of discretion and autonomy, an organization's total support network is diminished and ultimately destroyed. The opportunity to be flexible, creative and adaptive is what enables an organiza- tion to make most productive use of its resources in moving ahead and overcoming challenges. If organizations allow for indi- vidual discretion, leaders and employees will have greater opportunity to apply their creativity and collective intelligence. They will have more choices about how The capacity of a company to strengthen itself comes from the empowerment of its members.

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