For too long the ruling ideology of too many organizations has been control: controlling people, controlling information, controlling deviations from the norm. The good news is that we already have a potent model of freedom as an organizing principle. It’s called the Internet.
While the Web has its limits, it is a relentlessly productive seedbed for new organizational forms where: coordination happens without centralization, contribution counts for more than credentials, all ideas compete on equal footing, power comes from sharing rather than hoarding, and where intrinsic rewards matter most of all.
We have experienced such an expansion in freedom in our personal lives with the emergence of digital, social and mobile technologies and the principles that undergird them. It’s time for the workplace to catch up.
When it comes to expanding individual autonomy—and reaping the rewards of increased initiative, creativity, and passion—organizations will get the most traction if they focus on experiments and clever designs for enhancing five crucial freedoms:
CONNECTION Social media opens up endless possibilities for connection. The ability to reach others—instantaneously, without friction—is now woven into the fabric of daily life. Twitter opens the door to the famous, the powerful, the iconic—anyone...
Never before has leadership been so critical, and never before has it seemed in such short supply. That's why we're delighted to announce the Leaders Everywhere Challenge today. The second leg of the 2012-13 HBR/McKinsey M-Prize calls for real-world case studies and bold hacks that demonstrate how we can dramatically expand the leadership capacity of all of our organizations by both redistributing power in a way that gives many more individuals an opportunity to lead, and equipping and energizing people to lead even when they lack formal authority.
In the creative economy, innovation is more important than ever. Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only antidote to margin-crushing competition, the only hope for out-performing a dismal economy, and the only way to truly amaze your customers. Innovation—in operations, products, business models and ecosystems—isn’t merely a competitive advantage, it’s the competitive advantage.