Top people in bottom up times

What does never change? The fact that the world keeps changing… And with it the people, opinions, practices and eventually cultures…

I personally believe that the change we’re going through is bottom up and increasing decentralised decision making. It is about empowering everyone, about unlocking our energies.
It is about connecting the nodes to the common matrix or grid. It is about all of us working together around a common purpose, vision, a hypothesis of change.

Where in this changing world is the place of top managers? What is their role?

Modern leadership should no longer be top down...
Let’s help the top come down from the stage and mingle!

Isn’t it about:
A) Helping to shape up that vision?
B) Coaching other managers to empower them to bring up the best of all employees?
C) Advocating that vision to patrons and donors that can increase political and economic capital to support the vision?
D) seeing to the strategic health of the initiative by ensuring that the organisational and institutional setup lends itself to the activities required to achieve the vision?
E) And obviously responding to all necessities and formal responsibilities that the function requires?

It cannot be too easy to grasp this way of working and to apply it in practice when these top managers are expected to act as ‘alpha’ managers ruling by fear, facts and figures.
Isn’t it then our task to bring the evidence of the value of bottom up management to our top?

Empowering is not a condescending activity that goes top down either; it is helping everyone, formally above, under or outside of formality to realize themselves and together with others… Let’s work also to help the top reach out to the bottom up!

And In the meantime, I hope that the global crisis will not reduce bottom up times to simply bottom times.


Published by Ewen Le Borgne

Collaboration and change process optimist motivated by ‘Fun, focus and feedback’. Nearly 20 years of experience in group facilitation and collaboration, learning and Knowledge Management, communication, innovation and change in development cooperation. Be the change you want to see, help others be their own version of the same.

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