Empowerment – 1948

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“As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way.

Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serous in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs.

Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it’s essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to continue to grow.”

– William McKnight, 3M Chairman, 1948
– As shared by Scott Berkun, The Myths of Innovation

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