Control sits where organizations are often challenged, it’s somewhere between productivity and self-directed employees.
It takes subtle forms. Take for example the way that an organization seeks to achieve goals and how it distributes the responsibility to reach them.
It’s a cascading system with a paternalistic approach to model discipline and provide guidance. One that infiltrates the organization’s processes and its culture. That approach works well until it is confronted with diverging spontaneity, desires, and opinions.
That’s the moment where the organization’s position between flexibility and rigidity will determine how much control will be used and how much letting come is possible. The guidance provided to the group is being confronted with individual autonomy. It’s also the moment when the individual autonomy wasn’t willing anymore to adapt to the feeling of being directed.
The members of the organization need to find a compromise between the way as suggested and the way as desired. Often times it’s too late. Both parties have already been pushing as far as they could. Not only that, they already worked to transform the processes in their sense. Members of the organization are already seeing how their own zone of authority is being invaded by the others seeking to influence outcomes.
Subtle and not so subtle power plays started to emerge seeking to transform influence to control. The felt necessity to achieve set goals leads to a search to control others and make them do what we want.
These situations show, that the learning ability of the organization is not sufficient. They focus on the given goal without the ability to put it into the present context. It’s an attachment with the static past instead of engagement with the emerging future.