Most of the modern work life is finally starting to abandon the excess hierarchies and have started to find better ways to organize themselves, than the top down structure. Some of the hierarchy will probably remain. Lack of the hierarchies elsewhere leave open opportunities for different kinds of leadership than the top-down commands.
Self-organizing groups seem to be the way to get the work done. In groups like that there are people, and approaching and getting things done with people is not always really easy. In fact it never was, although top-down organization make it look like that: just giving orders. Well usually the results are not great either.
Self-organizing groups are superior in this sense, people who do have the power to make all the decisions. This means that people who have the best knowledge about the work will tend to make the decisions.
Even in this kind of group setting we need leaders, not maybe all-knowing leader who decides about everything, but on different topics there are probably people who know better. Thus leading becomes also co-operative effort, we need to person who knows it best to be leading.
In work, the transition to low hierarchy means training and coaching the people to become not only good employees, but also good leaders. They’ve to take charge of the problems, be solutions oriented. It’s worthy investment for any organizations to have growing number of self-starters working there who are by themselves focusing to that which matters most.
“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This is my favorite phrases, when it comes to the human potential. Learning this and applying, it will certainly create such a group of people who will be committed to the work, challenge the status quo and exceed the expectations.
* Image credits Andy Bright 2009 Creative Commons 2.0 available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flat61/3883611573