Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I came across an interesting statement. I believe it was made by Zuckerberg the guy behind Facebook. He said, “We want a system where anyone can develop without having our permission. There are things that we will never think of.”

This got me thinking about organizational dynamics. What makes the difference between an organizational environment (OE) that is empowering (without permission) and an OE that is controlling (withholding permission)? Here are some quick hitting thoughts.


“Information is power” attitude. I have the information, you don’t. I will release it at my discretion. You want it? Come to me! All ‘need to know’ stuff flows through a few
Distrust is assumed. People cannot be trusted, so don’t.
Multiple layers of decision making. If those closest to the results cannot make the decisions there is a control issue by those further out.
Risk is not rewarded.


Risk is not only rewarded it is encouraged
Trust is assumed. People are given the positive benefit of the doubt
Decision making is given to those most affected by the choice
Healthy disagreement is cultivated
Permission is pre-given. Make the call and we can discuss it later.
Mission is the guiding light, not mistake avoidance

I need to unpack this more. But I tend to think when I talk, or in this case write.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am wondering where does a person begin to make the change from "withholding" to "without"? It is very tempting (almost instinctive) to try to keep control rather than empower. Whether you are at the top or down the ladder, I think you would begin with a modeling approach. It seems that much thought about "the way we do things around here" would be necessary before charging out to change. Thought and discussion with others to measure their perception. Thanks. Darrell from PA