In this episode I continue my focus on one of my favourite business books ‘Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration’ by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman. I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies.
I use three of my own favourite experiences of being a part of teams that have made significant achievements in their own local ways, both as a personal reflection and as an illustration of the 15 messages identified in the book. The final five messages are explored in this episode, with a focus on optimism and motivations that help drive people to greater achievements. I reflect on the rewards that exciting work provides to those engaged in it, and how great leaders provide what their staff need and then give them freedom to develop and innovate.
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“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” [Fernando Flores].
As western industrialised societies have drifted into a post-industrial service industries world, one thing proliferates more than the most infectious of diseases… bureaucracy! Now anything to do with paper, or its electronic offspring, reigns supreme. Managing, auditing and regulating have become effective barriers to creativity and innovation.
The new mantra is standardisation, systematisation, uniformity and safety… conformity ensures mediocrity will be the outer limits of permitted imagination. Do the children of today dream and aspire to become a bureaucrat when they grow up? Do they loose sleep over the excitement of their first suit and form to fill? Take with a large degree of caution any bureaucrat promising to reduce the plethora of bureaucracy. It is not in their interests to free up other people to exercise their talents, initiative and decision-making skills.
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“Bureaucracies force us to practice nonsense. And if you rehearse nonsense, you may one day find yourself the victim of it.” [Laurence Gonzales].