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Chapter 15. Power, Power. Who's Got the ... > The Advantages of Empowerment - Pg. 186

Power, Power. Who's Got the Power? 186 FYI Taking risks is an essential ingredient of empowerment. Unless members know it's okay to try something new and that failure will not lead to punishment, they will play it safe and never innovate. In companies where team members are afraid to take any action without first checking with higher authorities, any attempts to be em- powered will be resisted. Where team members feel comfortable initiating action and accepting responsibility for that action, empowerment begins to work. The Advantages of Empowerment Why bother with empowerment? Will giving people more power really help or is it just another gim- mick to make people think they are getting more than they really are? Companies that have em- powered their teams have generally been more than satisfied with the results. Productivity increa- ses, quality improves, but much more happens. Ideas: The Whole Team Contributes People who work on a job know a great deal more about what's going on in their working environment than many managers realize. They see things that are done inefficiently, and they have ideas for improvement. By eliciting their input about new projects and assignments, you're likely to pick up ideas that may not have occurred to you. When Ruth's team was given the assignment of developing a marketing plan for a new product, she outlined the project and provided each member with a detailed marketing research report. When they met to discuss it, so many ideas were presented that the team was able to develop an out- standing plan of action. Team Terms Synergy:Two or more people working together so that the individual contributions enhance the results. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Ownership is the feeling of being a full partner in the development and implementation of a project and being committed to its successful achievement. Synergy: The Whole Is Greater When a team meets to generate ideas, a suggestion one participant makes can trigger ideas from another person that he/she would never have come up with alone. This process adds considerably more new ideas than any one individual might have thought of alone.