Freedom is a big deal. It's a prime factor in why nimble teams largely outperform and out innovate slow teams.
In slow teams, the culture of permissions leaves people feeling untrusted to take and share initiative. And so they don't and that significantly impacts team velocity, tempo, agility and recovery.
Nimble teams are cultures of growth. People feel entrusted to take and share initiative on all dimensions and scales of team performance and growth.
There are two simple ways to start understanding how much freedom people feel in their work.
One is to ask them. When in your work do and don't you feel free to initiate, communicate, ask, question, decide, change, and include others? Where they don't feel free, or have doubts or concerns about their freedom, they will fail to take action required for strong team velocity, tempo and growth.
Another way is to observe them. Whatever we see people not doing, or doing after permission or assignment, it's a signal they might not feel free. What they postpone, do reluctantly or with resistance is another signal of not feeling free.
Creating clarity about where people should feel entrusted can go far to release them from the confusion of assumptions and misunderstandings. Supporting people to be more entrusted frees them up to be a more nimble team together.
If we want teams to be and stay slow, we just skip these assessments and interventions. If we want nimble teams, we do whatever we can to help them feel and act with a more expansive sense of freedom in their work.
At the same time, freedom works when alignment exists. Alignment grows as people define their desired future together, when they know and engage their goodness and when they work from presence, promises and agreements. Teams become more nimble when they equally grow their capacity for freedom and alignment.