3. Balancing Structure & Freedom

In Balancing Structure and Freedom, participants explore the challenge every leader faces, “how do I give my team enough structure to help them focus AND as much freedom as possible to bring their own unique style to their work?”

1. Read the Andy’s dilemma case study.

Please watch the video below on “6 ways to lead/engage others”:

Module Agenda:

Who’s here and where are we going? (:10)
6 Ways to lead
•Breakout (:10)
•Main room discussion (:10)

Min specs
•Model (:10)
•Example (:05)

Andy’s dilemma
•Breakout (:10)
•Main room discussion (:10)

Summary (:10)

Download BSFv2 Slides

Going Deeper:


Columbia Business School Executive Education: Leadership Jazz
Fun, different video where we see a Jazz ensemble discuss the creative process and how to create the environment for a team to do its best. Look for the narrator discussing the “creative contradictions” i.e. liberating structures Jazz musicians must embrace.

A Simpler Way – BK Business Book by Myron Rogers and Margaret Wheatley
Myron Rogers and co-author Margaret J. Wheatley explore the question: “How could we organize human endeavor if we developed different understandings of how life organizes itself?”


Chris Botti, article that looks at how leadership is shared and developed in a team using a Chris Botti concert as an example.

In this article, Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz of the Plexus Institute share their tools for change in a week-long workshop called Liberating Structures. For organizations that are looking for change to be internally-driven, this week long process brings people together across all levels of the organization to give them experience with tools to influence change locally. The workshop design follows an “action-learning” and “min specs” philosophy in that all work is on real issues and the facilitators provide both clear boundaries AND high degrees of freedom to allow participants to shape the experience so it adds the most value and meaning for them.