- October 9, 2018
There was a period in our history when employees were treated as one-dimensional, highly dispensable cogs in the proverbial wheel. The primary drivers of economic prosperity in this era were machines. So if a worker failed to show up, do the job and/ or toe the line, they were quickly replaced with a new able body.
This practice was generally accepted by all parties involved and it worked just fine. In this day and age, however, there is no room this.
Leaders who insist on employing the command and control approach from the industrial era in managing new knowledge era employees may derive a sense of authority from their methods but they will also have an alienated, demotivated, maliciously obedient and potentially litigious workforce.
Employees can no longer be just ‘carrot and sticked’ into getting tasks done. Yes, they want to be part of something greater than they are but they also want to retain their identity and individuality in the process. They want to know that they matter.
Our current-day knowledge age, therefore demands leaders who view their roles, not as controllers of people but rather a co-creators with their people; their key responsibility is to identify the true worth, potential and genius of every individual worker and give them room to experiment, make mistakes, adapt and evolve. Because when you have an environment where people are allowed to be who they are and feel that they matter, then you have an environment that can produce the most valuable commodity of our time: an idea.
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