Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Many executives have the command & control management style. That is the dominant style which they have learned (and copied) from their bosses and that is the style with which they grew up in the organization. Although many would say that they are not applying that style, the day-to-day practice proves otherwise. That is quite natural. In times of a crisis we fall back to the behavior with which we are most comfortable.

However, both command and control are totally not working anymore in the modern workplace.

Most workers are knowledge workers, so it is an illusion that a leader or manager can tell them what to do and in what way. With the rapidly changing markets and the huge amount of information available, it is even hard for the experts to stay up to date on a certain subject. So, it would be wise to develop a more coaching oriented leadership style, which is much more suited for the knowledge workers in your organization.

Alan Webber in his book Rules of Thumb says about control that it is undoubtedly the biggest illusion of our time. “Anyone who thinks that they are in control of anything needs to check into the twelve-step program of his or her choice.

A command & control style is the biggest obstacle for innovation. People will take no initiatives, they will only strictly adhere to what they are told and not think out of the box. The aspects on which the control takes place will be the boundaries for their new ideas. In other words there will be no room or incentive to come up with groundbreaking or game-changing ideas.

Today’s challenging marketplace requires fresh and bold thinking, so please make sure that your management style is in support of innovation!


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