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How do we balance individual autonomy with the needs of a team?

We balance autonomy with teamwork by allowing individuals to make commitment bound recommendations as to their role. Those recommendations and commitments are then discussed and agreed as a group. Once agreed, we then empower those individuals to make the breadth of decisions required to exercise that role, holding them accountable for the commitments they've made and outcomes that arise. Individuals then understand it is them and their team, not a distant manager, who determines their success or failure.

 They need to understand they have:

  • the freedom to do the right thing
  • the right to request what they need to get things done
  • the authority to exercise the role and organisational purpose
  • the responsibility that comes with being a member of a community
  • the right to bring to bear peer-to-peer accountability

When the entire team is affected by each team member’s contribution, not only do they have a vested interest in performing as well as they can, they also have a real incentive to help one another to succeed.  However, there must be a high degree of transparency (financial and otherwise), empathy and trust across team members in order for them to do so.


“Empowerment embodies the belief that the answer to the latest crisis lies within each of us, and therefore we will all buckle up for adventure.”

Peter Block, Stewardship

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  1. Cassa Grant

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