circles not boxes

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky

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What does your organization chart look like?   Is it the typical set of boxes showing the relationship in a hierarchical fashion?   Most organizations are structured with a top down command and control organization.  Even though some of those organizations would profess empowered leadership models there is still the idea that someone is subordinate to another.  The subordinate relationship will  reduce the ability for everyone to contribute their absolute best.

The new leadership model will be a set of interlinked circles much like that of a Venn diagram.   This model doesn’t use subordinate relationship to accomplish work.   It uses a model of collaboration to bring out the best of each person.

What happens when there is greater collaboration between all roles in the organization?   Communication improves, it gets faster, it vibrates with ideas, and is more rich.  Gone is the worry of saying something and not having it matter.   Greater collaboration leads to greater wins for the organization and for everyone in the organization.

Moving away from the traditional structures will allow organizations to move more quickly, extract the best ideas, and increase total involvement.  That is in essence the idea of enabling people to contribute.   Empowerment with action is enablement and that is what it will take to for organizations and individuals to make a larger contribution.

The collaborative leadership model is based on relationships rather than authority (positional authority).   The model will enhance organizational performance and contribute to faster implementation of change with in the structure.   The challenge is breaking free from the ways of the past to embrace something new.   The same change authors have to embrace this model and create an impetus for a new way of doing business.  Those that do embrace a collaborative model will thrive and out perform those that don’t.

How do you create such a large change?   Start with small groups, build the model, test it and watch it work.     Think about ways you can create a more collaborative environment and then implement.

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One response to “circles not boxes

  1. Wilburn J. Pope

    Vroom, V. H. (2000). Leadership and the decision making process. Organizational Dynamics, 68, 82–94; Vroom, V. H., & Yetton, P. W. (1973). Leadership and decision-making. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg Press; Jago, A., & Vroom, V. H. (1980). An evaluation of two alternatives to the Vroom/Yetton Normative Model. Academy of Management Journal, 23, 347–355; Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. 1988. The new leadership: managing participation in organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. The model starts by having leaders answer several key questions and working their way through a decision tree based on their responses. Let’s try it. Imagine that you want to help your employees lower their stress so that you can minimize employee absenteeism. There are a number of approaches you could take to reduce employee stress, such as offering gym memberships, providing employee assistance programs, a nap room, and so forth.

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