Engaging Employees Through Operationalizing Good Power, Starving Bad Power, and Disallowing No Power

By Michelle Malay Carter on December 21, 2009 

Exercising Good PowerI was struck by a message on Good Power Versus Bad Power?at my house of worship last week.? It occurred to me that this is what PeopleFit endeavors to do within Managerial Hierarchies.

Throwing The Baby Out with the Bathwater – Egalitarianism
We are kidding ourselves to believe?managerial hierarchies can be?egalitarian.? Power must be exercised.? We can “nice up” the word power by calling?it leadership or authority, but?it is power just the same.

So then the question becomes,?if power must be?excised, how can we set up a managerial leadership system to channel power to every one’s advantage??

Designing for Good Power
Elliott Jaques’ Requisite Organization Model outlines just a system.? Here is how it addresses power to create an environment of trust and fairness.? Without trust and fairness, employees disengage.

Operationalizing Good Power

Starving Bad Power

Making sure that at least two sets of eyes are on each employee by:

Disallowing No Power

What kind of power do you experience in your organization?

I’m OK.? You’re OK.? Let’s fix the system.

Filed Under Accountability, Employee Engagement, Executive Leadership, Managerial Leadership, Organization Design, Requisite Organization, Talent Management, Work Levels


3 Responses to “Engaging Employees Through Operationalizing Good Power, Starving Bad Power, and Disallowing No Power”

  1. jason wilton on December 21st, 2009 2:17 pm

    I like the idea of having 2 sets of eyes and extending responsibility to those who are one step removed. Interesting notion.

  2. Forrest Christian on December 30th, 2009 10:45 am

    I’ve always thought that the greatest lesson of Brown at Glacier Metal was that power is not restricted to management or the corporation. Ignoring the real power of employees and other “stakeholders” (for lack of a better term) is often a tragically risky choice.

  3. Michelle Malay Carter on January 1st, 2010 11:42 am

    Hi Jason and Forrest,

    Thank you for stopping by and for your comments. It’s all about design, not fixing people.