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Chapter 4 – Autonomy. Old fashioned ideas of management are giving way to a newfangled emphasis on self-direction according to Pink. Management is shifting from walking around and watching workers to self-direction – give them a task and get out of the way. Autonomy, cont.

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Chapter 4 – Autonomy

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chapter 4 autonomy
Chapter 4 – Autonomy
  • Old fashioned ideas of management are giving way to a newfangled emphasis on self-direction according to Pink.
  • Management is shifting from walking around and watching workers to self-direction – give them a task and get out of the way.
autonomy cont
Autonomy, cont.
  • ROWE – Results Only Work Environment
  • Concept created by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
    • Principle – “They just have to get the work done.”
      • How they do it?
      • When they do it? Is up to the individual
      • Where they do it?
autonomy cont1
Autonomy, cont.
  • Management is checking up on people
  • Autonomy is about “creating conditions for people to do their best work.”
  • Jeff Gunther decided to implement the ROWE concept to his own business.
    • At first, people came to work at the normal time and continued business as usual, but as more people began to embrace the concept of when, where and how to complete their tasks – it caught on and was successful.
autonomy cont2
Autonomy, cont.
  • Results that Gunther saw in his business.
    • 1. Productivity Rose
    • 2. Stress Declined
  • Gunther said that people outside of his business thought he was crazy. But he couldn’t help but see his business becoming more successful.
    • Why? “They were focused on the work itself rather than on whether someone would call them a slacker for leaving at three pm to watch a daughter’s soccer game.”
autonomy cont3
Autonomy, cont.
  • Why was this important for Gunther? His business designed software and he needed his designers to be creative – in other words – they were being creative and successful and not thinking about the little stuff.
  • Logistics – Under the ROWE concept, certain goals had to be met. As long as the goals were set at an appropriate level and people were meeting their goals – then it works.
autonomy cont4
Autonomy, cont.
  • Gunther also realized that if his employees basic needs were being met – non-monetary awards worked great (flexible hours, etc.)
  • He found that people opted to stay with him because they felt that the freedom they have to do great work was more valuable than $10,000 more pay.
autonomy cont5
Autonomy, cont.
  • Management is past its prime. Consider this as an example: what is in your office that was there in the 19th century?
  • Is the idea of management outdated?
  • Do we need to move toward autonomy?
  • Deci and Ryan state that autonomy is a basic human need – “acting with choice”
  • According to D & R, “Autonomy is something that people seek and that improves their lives.”
autonomy cont6
Autonomy, cont.
  • Benefits of autonomy (Autonomous Motivation)
    • Promotes greater conceptual understanding
    • Better grades
    • Enhanced persistence at school and in sporting events
    • Higher productivity
    • Less burn out
    • Greater levels of psychological well being.
autonomy cont7
Autonomy, cont.
  • Autonomy applied to business
    • Businesses that offered autonomy grew at four times the rate of the control-oriented firms and had 1/3 the turnover
  • Autonomy applied to school
    • The Flipped Classroom?????


The Four Essentials

  • Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes
  • 2002
  • FedEx Days
  • Evolved from permission to be off task to requirement to be off task
lesson learned
Lesson Learned
  • “If you don’t pay enough, you can lose people. But beyond that, money is not a motivator. What matters are these other features.”

--Mike Cannon-Brookes

  • Features?
autonomy 4
  • What people do
  • When they do it
  • How they do it
  • Whom they do it with
  • Task
  • Time
  • Technique
  • Team
autonomy over task
Autonomy over Task
  • William McKnight and 3M
    • “Hire good people and leave them alone”
      • Growth in this area
        • Hired a dream team of innovators
        • Pulled one of them off of what would eventually be Scotch Tape
        • Encouraged “experimental doodling”
        • 15% time yields post-it notes
autonomy over task1
Autonomy over Task
  • “Google it”
    • Adopted 20% time
      • Google News
      • Gmail
      • Orkut
      • Google Talk
      • Google Sky
      • Google Translate
autonomy over time
Autonomy over Time
  • Billable Hours
    • Examples
      • Lawyers
      • Auto Body Repair
      • Insurance
    • Has a place with routine tasks
      • You should be able to assemble this many widgets in this amount of time by following these steps
      • Be careful…there may be a more efficient way (we will discuss during the section on technique)
autonomy over time1
Autonomy over Time
  • ROWE, ROWE, ROWE your boat
    • R-Results


    • W-Work
    • E-Environment
autonomy over time2
Autonomy over Time
  • Examples
    • Best Buy Corporate
      • Had a reputation for grueling hours and nit-picky bosses
      • Abandoned schedule and went totally ROWE(G)
      • Currently one of the last remaining nationwide consumer electronics store surviving
      • Salaried employees get their job done…period
      • Hourly employees work the allotted amount of hours but have flexibility with the when
autonomy over time3
Autonomy over Time
  • Examples—continued
    • Netflix vacation policy
      • Take off when you want as long as your work is covered
    • Ahmed Ahmed
    • Adam Emerson
autonomy over technique
Autonomy over Technique
  • Zappo’s Customer Service
    • Serve the customer
    • No scripts
    • No monitoring
    • No time restraints
autonomy over technique1
Autonomy over Technique
  • Homeshoring
    • Route calls to the home
    • Provides freedom to be you
    • Makes sense economically for employer and employee
  • Wristbands
autonomy over team
Autonomy over Team
  • Most difficult of the four to influence
  • When the other three are in place, it creates a great segue to this area of autonomy
autonomy over team1
Autonomy over Team
  • Examples
    • Whole Foods
      • Department hires
    • W.L. Gore
      • Assemble your team and go with it
    • Facebook
      • Boot camp rotation then you choose
the art of autonomy
The Art of Autonomy
  • Autonomy is not the absence of accountability
  • People will attach differently to each component of autonomy
  • Must scaffold this concept into an organization’s life.