Top News
Check latest news Read →

The joy of Freedom

Imagine being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, with people you love to work with, and that too, in a company that you feel belongs to you…Such a proposition is mostly seen as a pipe dream by many…A nice idea but one that practically cannot be achieved in an organizational context.

 What will it take for you to create a climate in your organization in which people give their best and make each day count? Before giving serious thought to this question, it may be worth asking yourself what has prevented you from empowering people who work with you? Why have we turned our working environments such that people switch off when they arrive; do the bare minimum simply to justify their salaries and keep their jobs; and ‘switch on’ again, minutes after leaving the office or factory? Hmmm…

Imagine being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, with people you love to work with, and that too, in a company that you feel belongs to you…Such a proposition is mostly seen as a pipe dream by many and they typically remark: This is a nice idea but one that practically cannot be achieved.” Really? Try asking yourself: “Oh! What a brilliant thought! How could we ever enjoy such an exhilarating sense of freedom in the corporate environment?” “Wouldn’t it be great if we had the freedom to perform in ways that not only adds value at work, but also makes the effort fun and equally rewarding?” Trust your mind…let your ideas flow.

To gain insights from practitioners of management, I invited my friends on facebook, some young and others more experienced, to share their thoughts with me on the title of this management article. Here is what they said:

Waseem Rehmat: If we are talking in terms of “Corporate Management”, there is no freedom. Absolute freedom always leads to wilderness and we do need ties, not chains.

Syed Haroon Shah: The qualities of people can be fully utilized when they are free of every chain of life that becomes a barrier to their success. Freedom is a changed state of mind in which you can create something that is very different from others…

Nauman Ahmad: Freedom is about knowing what u can’t do. Freedom to innovate, freedom to express, freedom to disagree, freedom to deliver, freedom to enjoy, freedom to grow….These are freedoms you can enjoy. 

Tajdar Chaudry: Freedom is about looking back from time to time when everything ahead looks like welcomingly enticing. An effective leader knows where to wander and where to remain on a tight leash… If you have a brief moment, you should check out the correlation between management freedom and the hawthorne effect. Automated freedom could actually be well within reach by use of predictive methodologies and workplace behavior.

Samia Beg: Freedom within a framework and set with boundaries can be effective.

Azam Jamil: I have always wondered if Freedom was a right or a privilege

Waseem Rehmat: For entrepreneurs , yes! However, Freedom of thoughts in the corporate context can result in innovative organizations.

The contributions above are shared to ignite further reflection on the subject which is very close to our hearts.

We all have our own concepts on what freedom means in a corporate environment. Its value is unquestioned, yet the ‘how’ often alludes the majority. Could it be that the systems, policies, controls and structures are just too stifling? The culture of excessive supervision and monitoring is such that your creative flair is extinguished? Why can’t our workplaces turn into places where our talent finds expression and our contributions are valued in a way that inspires in us the willingness for taking on ever greater responsibilities to grow our business by winning the hearts of our customers, staff and other stakeholders.

There are hundreds of management books that tell us about exciting places to work in. My favorite in this context was The Maverick, the story of SEMCO, by Ricardo Semler, one of its founders. SEMCO is a Brazilian company, that has been benchmarked by leading companies from the east and the west. Those who have read this book, speak about their insights with passion and a gleam in their eyes.

Transforming our businesses from ‘the mundane’ to ‘the happening’ isn’t rocket science. In my view, it’s about trying to understand human nature and its potential deeply to find ways that helps us leverage the power at our disposal. Greater awareness and trust is a great place to start.

Alishba Zarmeen says: “If you can manage your freedom effectively, it will become a cause of your joy, because when you have the liberty to explore the full universe [of possibilities at work] systematically, you can achieve the seemingly impossible.”

The primary cause of freedom is discipline. The more disciplined and responsible our people are, the more autonomy and authority they will enjoy. As leaders what are you doing to engender these virtues in your organizations?

Leave A Reply