Article Information

Liberating Leadership: How the Initiative-Freeing Radical Organizational Form Has Been Successfully Adopted
Getz, Isaac
51/4  (Summer 2009): 32-58

Since the late 1950s, there have always been companies, such as Gore and Toyota, whose organizational forms freed the initiative of their employees. Yet, despite great business results, most attempts to imitate their organizational forms have failed. This article examines the initiative-freeing forms that can be successfully adopted by focusing on the leadership style that supports these forms’ emergence. In the “F-form” organization, employees have complete freedom and responsibility to take actions that they decide are best. This article takes a close look at fifteen companies in the U.S. and Europe that had succeeded in adopting the F-form, as well as three companies that experimented with the approach but did not implement it. The attitude and actions of the leaders who built these companies reveal key aspects of the liberating leadership style that supports the F-form adoption. In terms of leadership process, these aspects are: using the needs for intrinsic equality, growth, and self-direction as design criteria; sharing a world-class vision; and becoming a culture-keeper. In terms of leaders' traits, they are: the values of freedom and responsibility, creativity, and wisdom.


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