Peter Block's classic book, The Empowered Manager, began the empowerment movement in thousands of businesses, public agencies, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Here Block takes the next step beyond empowerment in his revolutionary book, Stewardship.
Organizations that practice stewardship, Block explains, will succeed in their marketplace by choosing service over self-interest at every point and by a far-reaching redistribution of power, privilege, and wealth. Without this, little real change will result.
As a successful managing strategy for corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizations, "stewardship" is, fundamentally, the spirit of partnership and service. According to Block, the company that has absorbed the principles of stewardship will offer equity and partnership at all levels for its employees, and managers who identify themselves as "stewards" will hold themselves accountable to all those over whom they exercise power.
Such managers will choose service over self-interest and will put self-management over control. "No one should be able to make a living simply planning, watching, controlling, or evaluating the actions of others," Block says.
Stewardship explains how to integrate the management of work and the doing of work, to redistribute purpose and power within an organization. It speaks about how this can affect work flow, quality control, performance appraisal, pay systems, supervisory methods, job design, and human resources.
Managers who are dissatisfied with the superficial changes resulting from currently popular programs, will learn how to achieve lasting, broad-based improvements in their organizations.