Empowerment is a word greatly used but seldom understood. Managers often use the word in place of delegation.
Empowerment is a word greatly used but seldom understood. Managers often use the word in place of delegation. They may also label their communications as empowering when in fact, they are just providing direction, judgments or corrections. Many managers use empowerment as a “buzz word” to create an image of political correctness or contemporary business acumen.
However, empowerment is none of the above. It is instilling and sustaining in all business enterprise stakeholders the passion, courage and self-governance needed to capture and maximize human and organizational potential. Empowered business enterprise stakeholders are engaged learners who are process disciplined and trustworthy in their constant pursuit of excellence. Empowered stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, etc.) constantly strive to create value through caring, insightful, and proactive thoughts and actions. They collectively think, communicate and act as accountable performers focused on achieving and excelling for the common good.
Empowered stakeholders are self-governing, interdependent collaborators, and courageous systems thinkers. They constantly explore possibility and focus on the common good. Empowered stakeholders are balanced in thought and action as they passionately engage in creating value and constantly pursuing but never achieving perfection. Because empowered stakeholders are always in pursuit of perfection, they outperform their contemporaries by a factor of 10 or more. However, none of this can be achieved without an enlightened management community. Managers instill and sustain in others the ego strength and personal accountability needed to use learning, performance measurements, and process discipline in embracing marketplace risk and continually striving for greatness in execution and outcome.
As marketplaces become more global, risky and complex, the need for customer-centric, empowered organizations increases. Managers must embrace this change and provide the communications and support needed to instill the necessary thinking and behaviors for self-governance, continuous learning, and proactive customer development.
INNOVA Group is a business consulting firm, in business since 1986, specializing in Leadership Development, Project/Process Management, and Organization Development. http://www.innovagroup.com