Let’s take a look at the three main ingredients required to enable autonomy.

  1. The current authority in power needs to be willing to let go of (part of) their power. They need to find out if the law allows this or if there are things they should arrange within the organization. Most importantly, they have to be comfortable with reaching a point of not being able to exert that power anymore. One way or another the power balance needs to be redistributed between both parties.
  2. The receiving party needs to be able to take it on. For some things they’ll need certain skills, for other things specific knowledge. Often a combination of those two is required to be good at it. If they lack the right skills and/or knowledge, see how the organization can support them in acquiring those.
  3. The receiving party also has to be comfortable with accepting the responsibility which always comes with power. One party can never decide on their own that another party gets a new responsibility. If you have the illusion that this will end well, you will get disappointed. This is where the discussion happens and agreements on the new distribution of power are made.

Working on a more elaborate blog on this.

Bonus drawing:

Manage for self-organization

After the blog above is published, I’ll cover this drawing.