Case in Point
Jack Welch, the former legendary CEO of
GE, "viewed this as anathema. He
believed in creating
an open collaborative workplace
where everyone's opinion was welcome."
He wrote in a letter to
shareholders: "If you want to get the benefit of everything employees have,
you've got to free them –
make everybody a participant. Everybody has to know everything, so they
can make the right decisions by themselves."
By making all his employees feel
that they had a stake in the company’s future, Welch was injecting a spirit
of common purpose among GE’s employees and businesses.
Though he was
empowering his employees through
Work-Out and other
processes, Welch didn’t want to label these processes empowerment. He
preferred the phrase high involvement:
“That doesn’t mean abdication
of decision-making authority by leadership. And that gets confused
sometimes. We want everyone to have a say. We want ideas from everyone. But
somebody’s got to run the ship. Now, that doesn’t mean somebody runs the
ship by directing it. Somebody runs the ship with a total input from
everyone. Empowerment is OK as long as it’s understood. Empowerment doesn’t
mean anarchy. Involvement is less misleading
high involvement, a say in the decision-making, a stake in the institution,
a voice. And I’ll tell you one thing: With voice comes responsibility.”
25 Lessons from Jack Welch
Case in Point
"Great Game of Business"
Jack Stack, the President and
CEO of engine rebuilder SRC Corporation, developed an employee-empowerment program known
as the "Great Game of Business." Four of its tenets are:
We want to live up to our end of the
We want employees to seek new challenges by thinking about where they
want to go in their work and their lives, instead of getting trapped in
the same old routines.
We want get rid of the "employee" mentality. Each person thinks and acts
like an owner.
We want to create and distribute wealth. Productivity improves as
employees work to create an
organization based on continuous improvement and on helping one
The fundamental reason for
Toyota's success in the global marketplace lies in its corporate
philosophy – the set of rules and attitudes that govern the use of
its resources. Toyota have successfully penetrated global markets
and established a world-wide presence by
virtue of its
implicit in the
Production System is to stimulate people to think
constantly – a "self-running, selfimproving" system. Everyone, not
just managers, can see what's happening. Every problem prompts why
questions. Empowered workers can solve problems at a very detailed
level. A lean
culture permeates the entire company.
Customer value creation and
customer satisfaction results from