Freedom in Structure

I’m often asked by clients what it’s like to work for myself. I thought I’d take a moment to share my thoughts in a quick video since it’s been a while since I’ve shared much here in my blog… watch it here.

Harvard Business Review published a thoughtful article in 2018 on the tensions leaders face between empowering employees and providing necessary operational disciplines. Many leaders see it as an a zero-sum game.

And while the tension exists, the solution to managing it is counterintuitive.

A certain amount of structure is needed to create conditions for creative freedom to arise. Instead of thinking of structure as something that kills freedom, it’s the opposite. Freedom is an outcome that arises from having the right kinds of structure.

To quote the authors: “Well-designed and well-implemented structures are not the death of freedom”. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The framework of structure is created to ensure the work being done is moving the organization in its strategic direction.

Research indicates most people want the ability to have some degree of a say in how things are done inside the organization.

Creating a strategic framework ensures employees are staying “inbounds” of what the organization needs, while allowing them freedom to come up with creative, and innovative solutions.

Read the full article here.