Which is the best way of running organisations?
We need both, if we want the best results and an engaged team. Top-down for direction and accountability, bottom-up for energy and resilience and adaptability.
We need to keep the two in equilibrium, and that’s a bit like balancing a stick on our finger—not so hard if we concentrate, but let our mind wander and the stick is soon on the ground.
In many corporate organisations, the stick fell to the ground a long time ago, often on the side of autocratic top-down management, like some of the banks, but sometimes also on the side of excessively bottom-up arrangements with no coherence, like the Co-op in the UK perhaps, with its current difficulties.
So a function of leadership then…
Is to act, as if from outside the organisation, keeping the top-down and bottom-up in balance. Often we need to stimulate the bottom-up dynamic before we can event start.
How adept are you at acting in your organisation and on it at the same time?