We are in an evolving age of flattened, silo-less, collaborative enterprises, where accountability for outcomes is increasingly devolved to those teams and individuals on the “front line” who carry the responsibility for implementation.
Under these circumstances, the old carrot and stick management no longer works, and the replacements often leave many management groups struggling with the ambiguity, as employees fail to respond with initiative and enthusiasm for the new management style.
The dilemma was summarised for me by the rework of the old “give them an inch, and they take a mile” saying by a bloke who added, “if only”.
When you have a workplace largely educated and conditioned to following the established orthodoxies, rules and regulations that at best inhibit, at worst, penalise for initiative, why would the outliers and mavericks stick around?
Leadership and passion encourages the taking of the mile, and nothing really useful happens until somebody does.