Authors: Frank Groenteman, Phillip Andrews

The Autonomous Workforce 4.0 book explains the evolution of workforce designs and type of work that relies more and more on advanced technologies and newly reinforced employee abilities. The typical workforce will soon be a thing of the past.

The infusion of new technologies affords employees the abilities to achieve and deliver more products and services faster, better (quality), cheaper (at a lower cost).  This is the very thing that not too long ago “the experts” were proclaiming that was impossible to achieve.

Moreover, Autonomy rewards employees with more job satisfaction, improved personal mastery, higher motivation, and stronger ownership in their work.  This is empowerment on steroids!

“Allowing employees more autonomy in the workplace drives engagement, fosters growth, and releases the potential of a fully motivated team. … As we move deeper into the digital era and as our technology continues to evolve, business leaders need to understand the opportunity that is emerging today.” — DIGITALIST

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What autonomy is: There are many definitions of autonomy, but the one we find useful is: “Autonomy is the power to shape your work environment in ways that allow you to perform at your best.”

What autonomy is NOT:

  • Autonomy does NOT mean working in isolation. Being autonomous doesn’t give a person the right to work without supervision or collaborators.
  • It’s NOT doing whatever you like whenever you like. In an organization with high levels of autonomy, the employer defines the boundaries of the employee’s control and decision-making power, creating the environment in which the employee can choose how autonomous he or she wishes to be.
  • It’s NOT working without a net. In a well-run organization, autonomous employees receive strong, clear guidance from supervisors, established procedures, manuals and so on. It’s only dysfunctional organizations that employees are left to figure out their jobs with little or no input from management. That’s not autonomy; that’s lack of leadership.

Phillip P. Andrews, MBA




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