Empowerment. Such a woody word, as Monty Python would quip. Unfortunately, it’s joined other “Business Bullshit Bingo” buzzwords like “Alignment”, “Accountability” and “Leverage” –overused and diluted to the point of becoming meaningless.
We talk a lot about empowering our employees, but what does that really mean? Generally, it means we want them to make decisions on their own, instead of coming to The Boss for all the answers. We want them to “Think Outside the Box” (another popular square on Bullshit Bingo.) “Surprise and delight our customers”, we entreat. “Use your heads! Be the face of the company! Do good things!”
Lovely words, and lovely concepts, until someone screws up. It’s how you act THEN that truly defines how much you’ve empowered your employees. Continue reading