Empowerment Inconsistencies in a Learning Culture LO26172

From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 02/19/01

Replying to LO26160 --

Hello Bill and all other folLOwers,

Power and authority is a paradoxical process. So it should first be
refered to as "(em)powering" or "authorising". Paradoxical means that it
is ambiguous, self-referent and inconsistent. It is a strange loop. When i
used to be a production manager i used to say that i was not in control of
the processes - i was responsible, but not in control. This gave me in a
sense a very strong control over the processes without the need to
exercise it. Put it another way: one can learn by teaching, or. another
example, one can empower somebody when that person empowers you to empower
him of her, or, in order to lead, one must serve. Most - organizational -
problems have to do with paradoxes like these. Our language, our culture,
our mental models are rather "one sided" (unilateral control, principles)
and are great for reducing uncertainty, ambiguity and ambivalence by
trying to solve a problem. However, in my view, a paradox is not a
problem. These paradoxes are just directions of thinking our mind is not
yet accustomed to.

Thanks for your contribution,

Jan Lelie

In response to

> Peggy Stuart <pstuart@c2t2.ca> wrote:
> > I see this as a problem since different interpretations of empowerment
> > leads to varying levels of empowerment. Person A will be more empowered
> > than Person B, which may lead to Person B resenting/envying Person A's job
> > flexibility...snip...
> How can one person empower another (unless empowerment is synonomous with
> authorization)? If I empower you to do something and later take that away
> from you, were you really empowered? Or were you simply authorized?
> Does empowerment only come from within?
> Bill Harris 3217 102nd Place SE


With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development mind@work est. 1998 - Group Resolution Process Support Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 http://www.mindatwork.nl and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 - Mindatwork@taoNet.nl

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