Freedom Inc

Emma De Vita reviews Brian Carney and Issac Getz's new book on employee autonomy

The two authors of Freedom Inc: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth (yes, it is an American book) argue that "if only people can be free to act in the best interests of their company, the results will be tremendous".

How can this be applied to the third sector? It all comes down to autonomy and to building a work environment that is trusting, non-hierarchical and liberated.

This doesn't mean turning your office into a neo-hippie commune, complete with mung beans, incense and The Mamas & The Papas blaring out through the Tannoy system. Instead, the trick is to listen to your staff rather than tell them what to do, treat them as equals and avoid limiting information through a trickle-down hierarchy.

Finally, enable them to commit to their jobs by making them actually want to do them rather than imposing things on them.

No doubt this is all easier said than done, but the idea is that you allow your staff to fulfil their potential and, in turn, become more productive and loyal.

Perhaps it all boils down to being happy at work. Isn't it your duty to lead the way? Time to embrace the positive energy, man.

Emma De Vita is features and books editor of Management Today

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