LeadU presents The Oncken Freedom Scale

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TPOVs @F-L-O-W

The Oncken Freedom Scale

Oncken Freedom Scale

In my work with managers, excecutives, and leaders, I have found this scale a heuristic that enables you to make a "snap judgment" about the managerial capability of a person.

  1. IF a person has to wait until he’s told, assuming neutral culture (more on that later), they won’t ever be able to manage much, except themselves and even in those cases, not very optimally.
  2. A managerial mentality emerges with the 2nd Level in the Oncken Freedom Scale. Therefore, the first level of managing one’s self well (a key to managerial capability) and perhaps others, is open.
  3. These people are special and are almost always capable of innovating at the serial level of capability in the Jaques capability system of Requisite Organization (RO) The reason being, that in order to innovate, you must have capability to recommend, which means you are doing process analaysis on your own.
  4. At this level, we can see people who CAN put two and two together, which means they have the capability to possess the 2nd and 3rd levels of freedom, can take a perspective on their perspective and move to best advice, or what I call dialogue outside of the RO System,
  5. At this level, the person becomes capable of working on and running a business at level five in the RO System, because they realize that acting on their own is critical, but also as valuable is their ability to help their managers manage because they routinely inform them about what is really going on, without having to be asked.

In this way, the Oncken Freedom Scale gives us a heuristic of making very quick judgments about capability to confirm what we already know has been demonstrated and what we are likely planning to do with our subordinates.



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We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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