Knowledge Workers are increasing. The more we understand how to manage them and be effective in the new economy, the better we will succeed. Stephen Covey recently had a Q&A on his blog that is relevant for project managers and lean implementers.
Q: What actions can people take if they are not in a position of formal authority and their superiors seem to be stuck in the Industrial Age both in mind-set and practice?
A: Leadership is not formal authority, leadership is moral authority. If you are principle-centered, your opportunities for influence increase; and if you’re proactive and take initiative inside your own Circle of Influence, it will get larger. It will primarily get larger because of the pragmatics of the marketplace. You will simply produce more. If you have a subsidized or protected organization that doesn’t have to deal with theses market realities and this new, real, world-class competition, what I said may not happen. And you may find that the old structure and old ways will persist and there will be great resistance to a new style of leadership and to changing these deeply imbedded structures and systems. However, eventually they will have to change. Even organizations that are protected and subsidized are, in time, subject to market forces because they all have budgets and costs they have to get around.
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