The Organization of Leadership III

June 19, 2018

Second Dimension – Organization of Power

The second dimension relates to a how power is intentionally distributed within an organization. This concept, also known as empowerment, relates to a leader’s ability to improve decisions and influence the performance of the company.

Power has traditionally been organized in a structured, formalized way.  Evolving from the traditional concept of leaders giving orders and workers obeying, to today, where it is more common to provide people some level of autonomy within a hierarchical structure.

During the second half of the 20th Century, in industrial sectors such as the automotive industry where competitive advantage in the ‘organization of labor’ began to lose its differentiating force, the re-organization of decision making ability and influence became essential to success. This has been the case, for example, with Toyota and its system of organization (“think global, act local”) which encouraged initiative and the involvement of all employees.  Many employers are now seeking to find more effective ways of delegating authority and improving accountability.

And advances in technology and mobility, coupled with new generations entering the workforce, are significantly impacting employee motivation and expectations relative to how they work, where they work, and why they work.  All this is driving the need for companies to evolve the way they think about their people.

In a recent PR News article, for example, the authors argue that the word “contributor” – defined as any person supplying effort toward an organization’s business objectives and goals – would better describe the worker of the future.

Today people are searching for a deeper meaning at work – seeking to understand how their talents and strengths directly contribute to their work and the goals of their organization.  We’re in need of new organizational designs and work structures that support this reality.




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