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Transforming Fear to Joy

A Leadership Rant — Let Go of Fear & Control

For the past 30 years, I collaborated with small, medium and large organizations in redesigning their structures, systems and processes to fit their strategies and enable employees to serve their customers. In the 70s, we referred to this subsequent flattening of the organizational hierarchy as democratizing the workplace, which suited the social-spiritual ethos of the day. In the 80s and 90s, similar efforts were renamed as building high performing teams and workplaces. Almost two decades into the millennium, and organization designers now refer to these streamlined, democratic workplaces as adaptive enterprises. Regardless of what lessons we learned and labels we invented over the past 50 years, the purpose of an organization has never changed — to provide the necessary resources and training to front line staff so they confidently, considerately and joyfully serve clients.

Many organizations began, by the 1960s, to realize that
tight control by too 
few people was creating groupthink,
turnover in staff and a loss of morale among qualified
people helpless to appeal what they saw as misguided,
uninformed, or poorly thought out decisions. … The
comic strip 
Dilbert has become popular satirizing this
type of oblivious 
management, the icon for which is the
Pointy Haired Boss, a nameless and clueless social
climber.      
Wikipedia.org

For the past 30 years, I collaborated with small, medium and large organizations in redesigning their structures, systems and processes to fit their strategies and enable employees to serve their customers. In the 70s, we referred to this subsequent flattening of the organizational hierarchy as