Organizations that need to respond to a fast-changing environment and desire continuous improvement can’t wait for the chain of command or rely on detailed rules and procedures. They need a different way of ensuring people are working towards organizational goals and responding appropriately to a changing environment. They need to enable and empower people at all levels in the organization to act, interact and decide with appropriate speed and appropriate discretion–doing the right thing without the need for excessive supervision.

In this talk, I’ll introduce the Three Cs model–Clarity, Conditions, and Constraints. When you have Clarity, people know what to work on. They know how their work fits into the big picture. Proper Conditions ensure people have the means to do the work. Organizational structures and policies support the work. Appropriate Constraints communicate what should always be done….and what should never be done. They provide bounded autonomy and prevent flailing.

And I’ll explain how they work together to enable empowerment and healthy self-organization AND provide sufficient structure to maintain purposeful action towards organizational goals.

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