In most organizations, the decision–making freedoms of frontline employees are highly circumscribed. Sales reps, call center staff, office managers, and assembly line workers are usually trussed up in a straitjacket of rules and procedures. I believe that's a problem, for it's impossible to unleash human capabilities without first expanding the scope of employee autonomy. To create an organization that's adaptable and innovative, people need the freedom to challenge precedent, to “waste” time, to go outside of channels, to experiment, to take risks, and to follow their passions.

Interestingly, humanity's most adaptable social systems, democracies and markets, are the ones that extend the greatest freedom to ...

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