Power, Essence and the Organisation


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No organisation can work on its primary task without the use of power by its members. If people work together on a complex task, they have to work in different groups on different hierarchical levels. That means that there are differences in status, resources, expertise, access to information, and that these differences are used to influence others: Power.
Made by Dr. Willem Lammers, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

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  • The power definition comes from Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus in Leadership: Strategies for Taking Charge
  • Power, Essence and the Organisation

    1. 1. Power, Essence and the Organisation Dr. Willem Lammers, TSTA
    2. 2. Programme <ul><li>Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Power-over: Survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power-with: Competence in Cooperation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Power of Creative Intention: Essence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consequences for Organisations </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why Organisations? Personal needs Organisational goals
    4. 4. Effective Organisations <ul><li>define their primary task </li></ul><ul><li>design a strategy to fulfil their primary task </li></ul><ul><li>create a structure to support the strategy </li></ul><ul><li>build teams to take on subtasks </li></ul><ul><li>design clear roles for the individuals involved </li></ul><ul><li>acquire and distribute the resources to work on the task </li></ul><ul><li>This is an ideal </li></ul>
    5. 5. Power (Max Weber) <ul><li>“ the probability that one actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests “ </li></ul>
    6. 6. Six Bases of Social Power (French & Raven, 1959) <ul><li>French and Raven identify six bases or sources of social (organizational) power: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reward Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coercive Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legitimate Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referent Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Power </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. French & Raven 2/3 <ul><ul><li>Reward Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>based on the perceived ability to give positive consequences or remove negative ones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coercive Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the perceived ability to punish those who not conform with your ideas or demands </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legitimate Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organizational authority, based on the perception that someone has the right to prescribe behaviour due to election or appointment to a position of responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. French & Raven 3/3 <ul><ul><li>Referent Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>through association with others who possess power </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>based on having distinctive knowledge, expertness, ability or skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>based on controlling the information needed by others in order to reach an important goal </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Three Types of Power <ul><li>For each type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose of power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding of hierarchy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The way people work </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Power-Over Biology, Survival
    11. 11. Power-over <ul><li>People and organisations must be controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy serves control </li></ul><ul><li>Persons are central </li></ul><ul><li>Machiavelli: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The end justifies the means </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With power comes isolation </li></ul></ul>http://www.abdn.ac.uk/clsm/images/structure.gif
    12. 12. Power-over <ul><li>Power-over motivates through fear </li></ul><ul><li>It sees the world as an object, made up of many separate, isolated parts without intrinsic life, awareness, or value </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings have no inherent worth </li></ul><ul><li>Value must be earned or granted </li></ul>
    13. 13. Maslow & Power-over Ours is a money and power society, and as long as it is, it ’s thereby insecure
    14. 14. 1. Survival Mode Processing <ul><li>Information from the senses triggers fight, flight or freeze behavior in the brain </li></ul><ul><li>This reaction goes with intense emotions and bodily symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>People go into survival mode if </li></ul><ul><ul><li>their needs for physical survival are not met </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If their needs for stability and variation are not met </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they ’ re not taken seriously </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once in survival mode, people need rest, safety and support to come out again </li></ul>
    15. 15. 2. Competence Mode Processing <ul><li>Information is taken to the cortex and frontal brain </li></ul><ul><li>The information is placed in space and time </li></ul><ul><li>It is provided with a meaning which allows for strategic, long-term reactions </li></ul><ul><li>People automatically go into competence mode </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If their bodily needs are fulfilled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If their situation is stable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they feel safe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they experience social support </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>1469–1527 </li></ul>
    17. 17.
    18. 18. The Law of the Serengeti Desert <ul><li>Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Every morning a lion wakes up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle </li></ul><ul><li>When the sun comes up you'd better be running... </li></ul>
    19. 19. Power-with Competence in Cooperation
    20. 20. Mary Parker Follett 1868 – 1933 Power grows if people work together
    21. 21. Mary Parker Follett <ul><li>Mary Parker Follett worked to relate individual/social parts to an evolving individual/social whole </li></ul><ul><li>She applied her ideas in everyday life, with neighbourhood and vocational activities </li></ul><ul><li>She helped individuals, groups, and communities lead themselves through what she called the “ community process ” of “ unifying differences, ” or creating an integrated or unifying whole </li></ul>
    22. 22. Power-with <ul><li>True power means power-with , not power-over </li></ul><ul><li>Power is not a zero sum game where one person can force another to do their will </li></ul><ul><li>Power is the capability or agency to do things, something that is shared between people </li></ul><ul><li>Power grows if people work together </li></ul><ul><li>Every individual's ideas contribute to the creation of a constantly evolving whole </li></ul>
    23. 23. Power-with <ul><li>In managing power, we must permanently explore the relationship between power-over and the primary task of the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Learning in organisations is possible only where power-with appears </li></ul><ul><li>Power-with emerges when those who are in possession of power-over step back from their structuring roles in the right moment </li></ul><ul><li>If they step back, they can create a common orientation towards the goals of the organisation </li></ul>
    24. 24. Power-with <ul><li>Power-with focuses on the interests of all parties – their needs, concerns, fears, and hopes </li></ul><ul><li>Power-with is found in joining with others, to seek resolution beyond simple hierarchy and legal settlement </li></ul><ul><li>We utilise the power found in relationships – and the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts </li></ul>
    25. 25. Power-with <ul><li>Power-with is directly connected to listening skills </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations must learn to shift power relations from power-over to power-with </li></ul><ul><li>Power-over doesn ’ t cease to exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The management must create and maintain a container that enables the work on the primary task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the management doesn ’ t hold on to this role, the containing structure will collapse, and the organisation will lose its given direction </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Quote (Mary Parker Follett) <ul><li>The manager cannot share his power with division superintendents or foreman or workmen, but he can give them opportunities for developing their power </li></ul>
    27. 27. Maslow & Power-with
    28. 28. Why Burnout in Organisations? (Maslach & Leiter) <ul><li>Mismatches between people and their jobs: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work overload </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Reward </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Fairness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting Values </li></ul></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Power-with <ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Belonging, self-esteem, curiosity, challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The leader is focused and focusing on the future </li></ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>think clearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trust each other and the leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>become creative & competent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy serves the common goal </li></ul><ul><li>Win-Win outcome </li></ul>
    30. 30. Andy Warhol
    31. 31. The Factory
    32. 32. The Factory
    33. 33. The Factory
    34. 34. The Power of Creative Intention Essence One can choose to go back toward safety or forward to growth. Growth must be chosen again and again. Fear must be overcome again and again. – Abraham Maslow
    35. 35. Essence <ul><li>We are more than physical bodies with systemic intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>We are Essence, Spirit, manifestations of a greater Being, a Higher Self </li></ul><ul><li>Essence is the power to manifest: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The basic energy to initiate and sustain action, translating Intention into Reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essence is able to move freely in space and time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All these characteristics are in the nature of Being </li></ul>
    36. 36. Maslow & Creative Intention
    37. 37. The Power of Creative Intention <ul><li>The power of creative intention refers to inner strength associated with courage, conviction, creativity and self-discipline </li></ul><ul><li>It has a strong spiritual component </li></ul>
    38. 38. Starhawk: <ul><li>We can feel that power in acts of creation and connection, in planting, building, writing, cleaning, healing, soothing, playing, singing, making love. We can feel it in acting together with others to oppose control. </li></ul>
    39. 39. In Organisations <ul><li>Power-over is necessary to create a container </li></ul><ul><li>Power-with brings people together to work on a common goal </li></ul><ul><li>They set the stage for the Power of Creative Intention </li></ul>
    40. 40. Conditions for Emergence 1/2 <ul><li>The primary task of the organisation must be clearly formulated at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>The strategy to work on the task must be well communicated </li></ul><ul><li>The organisational structure must create room for cooperation </li></ul>
    41. 41. Conditions for Emergence 2/2 <ul><li>Clear contracts are made with respect to the needs of all parties involved </li></ul><ul><li>Roles are designed with creative intention in mind, in accordance with the specific talents and motivations of the people involved </li></ul><ul><li>The organisation ’ s culture is based on mutual respect </li></ul>
    42. 42. Archimedes
    43. 43. Download Links <ul><li>Presentation: www.iasag.ch/docs/notes.lammers.power.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Text version: www.iasag.ch/docs/keynote.lammers.power.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>If content and form remain unchanged, </li></ul><ul><li>these files may be freely distributed </li></ul>
    44. 44. Understanding Depth Abundance Generosity Agape Courage Patience Wisdom Compassion Certainty Joy Clarity
    45. 45. Summary <ul><li>No organisation can work on its primary task without the use of power by its members. If people work together on a complex task, they have to work in different groups on different hierarchical levels. That means that there are differences in status, resources, expertise, access to information, and that these differences are used to influence others: Power. Nowadays, many organisations are involved in a struggle for survival, which generates primitive, biological patterns of coping with power in management. Even the language used is characterised by elementary survival concepts: Managers talk about “ the business battleground ” and “ secrets from the war room ” , and the “ war for talent ” . Sun Tzu ’ s Art of War is applied to Customer Service. This way of managing power denies our elementary connectedness as human beings. It is based on anxiety, and in turn generates more of it. Anxiety limits creativity, clear thinking, adequate decision making and an orientation towards the future in people. Anxiety also limits joy. In this lecture, several different models of power in organisations are presented. Starting with the classical model of French & Raven (1959) we will develop a three level model of power in organisations, which allows for the joy of our essential being in working on a task, together with other people, without ignoring everyday reality. </li></ul>
    46. 46. References <ul><li>French, J.P.R. & Raven, B.H. (1959) . The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright (Ed.), Studies in social power. (p.150-167). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Social Research. </li></ul><ul><li>Follett, Mary Parker (1918). The New State: Group Organization And The Solution Of Popular Government. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. </li></ul><ul><li>Follett, Mary Parker (1951). Creative Experience. New York: Peter Smith. </li></ul><ul><li>Fox, Elliot M. and L. Urwick (1973). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, 2nd edition. London: Pittman Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Korten, David (1995). When Corporations Rule The World. West Hartford (CT): Kumarian Press. </li></ul>