Empowerment Self-Diagnostic

This is a self-assessment process to determine the degree to which others are being empowered under your leadership.  Prescriptive actions to create a more empowering environment are a provided.

 Step 1

    Write down every decision made for one week.  Include not only specific decisions requiring approval, but also all FYI issues brought to your attention.  This is likely to be a long list with many decisions and issues coming from many individuals.  For each item capture the following information:

This data can be collected in a spreadsheet or on paper that can later be cut up.

Step 2

    At the end of one week, organize the above information into three groups and answer the associated questions.  For each type response subset groups again.  This can be accomplished by adding additional columns to the spreadsheet and resorting.  Or detail on paper can be cut into individual items and physically grouped into related piles.

Step 3

    Study the groupings generated in step 2.  What was your first impression?  Are there common issues in each group?  Was your involvement really necessary or the result of an unempowered organization?  Are the same individuals disproportionately represented in different groups?  

Bottom line from this study: What would you prefer to have had happen?  This establishes a potential state of empowerment throughout the organization.  

However, remember, you gain power by giving it away to others.  Empowerment is built on the knowledge that organizational power is not a limited resource, but can be generated through leveraging what power you have through the efforts of others.   

Step 4

    Step 2 generated a statement of reality surrounding your involvement in organizational decision making.  Step 3 established the desired state of having an empowered organization.  Combined, they establish a gap.  Or more precisely, a creative tension that represents an opportunity for organizational learning.  The necessary action steps may include communication, boundary clarification, goal alignment, and employee development.   

Step 5

    Repeat the process.

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Transformative Networking connecting change leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.

Next Steps While still conceptual, transformative networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of work.  The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.  Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might emerge.  Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing - networking communities of interest.

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Last modified: July 19, 2009