Autonomy requires trust. Trust requires accountability. Accountability
requires measurement. Measurement requires standards. Standards require
If your manager/company will not invest in preparing meaningful standards –
not functional but qualitative and quantitative standards, then all
accountability is based on opinion or whim, and trust is based on results
and history, and autonomy is unstable, and in jeopardy. In fact,
everything is based on relationship, last outcomes, pain, and fear. Your
passion will drain away, your productivity will be diminished, and your
focus will be on outcomes rather than practices.
At the same time a manager/company who defines inflexible/rigid standards
that don’t support individual strengths, talents, and gifted. This
produces least common denominator performance, passive compliance, and
fear. All innovation is stifled, all passion is drained, and creativity is
only used to achieve compliance with the least pain and misery.
I want my team to be autonomous, to make good decisions within a framework
of constraints informed by impact to cost, schedule and risk.
I want them to proceed as quickly as possible with as little redirection,
correction, and drama as possible.
I want my customers to understand how we approach our work, accommodate
change, and handle dissatisfaction so that there are fewer surprises and
I want my team to continually evaluate their results and their means
looking for opportunities to improve quality, delivery speed, cost
efficiency, and predictability.
I want my team members to grow into their full potential, and grow their
potential with each new experience.
This is hard when my team is managed in isolation (I have autonomy to
define my teams practices). Difficulty is multiplied when I manage in
concert with others as we share responsibility for practice/process
standards, and results.