There is a lot being discussed and published around the topic of empowerment these days. But the reality, at least as I see it, is that there is still a strong tendency within manufacturing businesses to use the autocratic approaches to leadership (holding the reins).
In other words: Do as I say, direct or tell you to do.
You may think these are harsh words but from what I have seen and experienced through my career, and still very much so today, is supervisors, managers and leaders who are unwilling to let go of the authority they are given, or even consider empowering others under them to take charge. Instead, they tend to want to retain their control. This therefore smothers and chokes the creativity of individuals and teams to think for themselves, experiment, make (and learn from) mistakes in order to develop robust solutions to problems they tackle.
Change is hard and is always met with resistance and our tendency as managers is to revert back to what we know or how we were conditioned by our previous bosses to work and lead others.
In my sketches below and my animation I have tried to outlined a few of the areas you should pay attention to in order to stop “spoon-feeding,” or reverting back to autocratic conditioned behaviors, and five steps you should consider taking to start the process for nurturing empowerment amongst your employees and your teams.
These steps are my perspective on what I try to do to foster creativity and innovative thinking. May be they¹ll be thought-provoking points or spark some ideas or an approach you can adopt to make a stepped change in this direction.
Try it, and don¹t forget to let me know how it worked.