Risk Is Often Presented As A Justification For Command And Control
Among the primary reasons advanced for command and control cultures is risk management – that is, how does a group best prevent bad things from happening while doing it best to accomplish its mission?
Perhaps the most notorious command and control entity was the Soviet Politboro which famously created the Soviet Five-Year Plan for Agriculture in the belief that results could be mandated and commanded. Dismal crops year after year proved that their assumptions were wrong in large part because motivation was missing.
Margaret J. Wheatley writes: “Successful organizations, including the military, have learned that the higher the risk, the more necessary it is to engage everyone’s commitment and intelligence.”
Do you ever buy into the idea that command and control is “necessary” for the “benefit of all concerned”? How does that square with your personal values? How do you believe these kinds of risk-reward questions are best resolved? How, if at all – in your personal life and / or your professional life – do you engage the “commitment and intelligence” of others?