authorising environment LO25087

From: Winfried Dressler (
Date: 07/21/00

Replying to LO25076 --

Helen van Eyk asked:

>I am trying to find some references that use the term "authorising
>Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Helen and all,

the following from the Fifth Discipline audio program which I wrote down
while listening revently came into my mind. The first is from the part on
Shared Vision, the second from the Ford FN47-Team. May be it is helpful.

First on the importance of free choice:

"Management by commitment", "High commitment work systems" yet real
commitment is still rare in today's organizations: Commitment? ->
Compliance! "Buy into the vision": I sell, you buy. But world of
difference between selling a vision and enrolling into it.

1.) Compliance/Selling: What someone might not do, if he were in full
possession of all the facts. Accept the vision in order to get something
else (i.e. keep the job, promotion, incentives)

2.) Enrolling: Placing ones name on the roll, implies free choice! Truly
want the vision, although need not to be ones vision.

3.) Commitment: Feeling fully responsible for making the vision happen.
Vision is pulling to action. The commitet person doesn't play by the rules
of the game, s/he is responsible for the game.

How to enroll:

- be enrolled yourself - otherwise seeds are sawed for future resentments

- be on a level with people: don't inflate benefits or sweep problems
under the rug. Describe the vision as simple and honestly as you can. Then
let the other one choose. You don't have to convince another of the
benefits of a vision. Actions to persuade will be seen as manipulative and
preclude enrolment. Free choice!

- In case of only need for compliance: be open about it!

Second, note the "out of control" perception, which an "authorized" team
caused in the rest of the organization:

Ford 1992 FN74 project: develop next generation Lincoln Continental (1,5
Billion $ budget, 900 engineers included, 5 year period)

Vision: create a learning laboratory - practice field, with rich learning
environment integrating the five disciplines.

Map system of development process: why do we get behind schedule -> when
there is a problem, don't tell anybody, especially don't report officially
* fassade everything is ok.

Leverage point: delay between when a problem is recognised by somebody and
when the problem is identified and recognised by the larger team (those
who have to work together to solve the problem).

                Core cultural issue: TRUST

Differnce between talking in an official meeting and anywhere else.

9 months until this insight!

Then: team is seen as crazy by the rest of the organization: 6 months
great risk, they operated against normal cultural standard: team seen as
totaly out of control! They had far too many problems!!

Within the team: enthusiasm has going of the scale - creative tension
became very clear.

After 19 months into the project: first major checkpoint: most important
measure: "parts on time", critical for adjustments
average: less than 50%
historical best: 63 %
FN74 team: 88 % !!!!!!! Totally out of control team accomplished this.?????

Next checkpoint broke that record: team finished the complete car 10
months before manufacture. Has never happened before occured at Ford.

Shift of paradigm: You get hard results by being a hard manager.

-> Hard results by all this crazy soft stuff (openness, 'check in',
    funny diagrams...)

Will it spread? Those who take it for granted have not yet understood the
power of mental models. Time will show, there are several new projects


In general, I can only recommend this audio progam. It is a four hours
reminder on how the five disciplines are interwoven, what they are about
and well imaginable examples. It is difficult to find the time to read the
book once a year, but in the car or plane, the audio program will serve
well to reestablish the whole picture.

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.