My most recent blog post touched on the idea of moving from Force to Flow, from 20th-Century to 21st-Century thinking.

This is incredibly important to me personally as it is totally aligned with my personal purpose, which is:

"To help create a smooth transition from old paradigms to new ways of being in the world."

Which translates to working towards social and organisational change through my writing, speaking and consultancy - helping organisations to make the change and become 21st Century Leaders by choosing empowerment over control.

Reinventing Work

Reinventing Work is about creating self-managing teams, and giving people the power and autonomy to work on their own initiative towards their organisation's goals.  As part of this there's a local initiative I'm involved with called Reinventing Work: Bristol that sprung from a recent series of RSA events.

The concept is actually nothing new.  It's something I've practised throughout most of my career, either by making my own decisions on what needed to be done and acting autonomously, or by giving my teams the freedom work in the ways that best suited them.

And as a leader I was always more of inclined to coach than manage.  [In fact, I was recently asked to write a book on management but I declined and told them, "I've never managed anything in my life, not even when I had the word 'manager' in my job title."]

The Rabbit Hole

What's fascinating is to observe it in action and see the tension between intention and actions.  We find it so hard to let go of control and really give our teams the freedom to be able to act in a fully autonomous way.

Self-management is giving people the freedom to do things HOW they choose; but autonomy gives them the freedom to choose WHAT they do.  That's a very different ballgame.

How do we as leaders empower our people to that extent?  How far down the rabbit hole are we prepared to go?

Autonomy: An Essential 21st Century Skill

When I talk about 21st Century Leadership, it is all about building empowered teams.

Technology and markets are changing at an exponential rate and it's becoming increasingly difficult for leaders to keep up.  

If they insist on knowing everything that's going on and making all the decisions they will slow the process, lose competitive advantage and - most importantly - suck all the energy and enthusiasm out of their teams.  Leaders simply must entrust their people to make quick decisions, to innovate, and to co-create products and solutions as opportunites emerge.

The alternative is to try to hang on, riding the runaway train of command and control until it crashes off the rails.

It's time to jump!

If you're a visionary leader and want to build an organisation fit for the 21st Century, take the next step.

If you're local to Bristol, you can join our Reinventing Work Meetup group here.

And if you'd like to expolore this with me and the UKLA team, then we can have a chat.  Give me a call on 07834 608878.


Finally, let me share the UKLA mission and see if it resonates with you:

"To transform individuals and organisations to achieve their highest future potential, creating humane working environments where people can connect authentically, achieve true synergy in their business and personal lives, and release their full potential for the benefit of themselves and others."