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Organisations must decide where and how they exercise control.

On the one hand they need, on a personal level, a limitation to the disappointment rate, which a trusting approach always carries with it. Systems entirely without control generally create excessive disappointments and then fall into the opposite (which does not make things better).

On the other hand, control is required to stimulate necessary communication about whether and how the performance in a sub-system fits in with that of other sub-systems. This involves the coordination of partial performance, the management of scarcity (keeping to budgets, controlling costs), the inspection of plan progress etc.. The famous ‘traffic lights’ about the state of projects is one example. The more dangerous the deviations from the control norms are, the more they undermine controlling decision patters, as obscuring and deceiving will then spread. Control is responded to by counterchecks and then usually falls short of its function.

It is particularly important that control is practiced in such a way that it is not taken personally, or, unintentionally, seen as a form of mistrust (“Obviously he does not trust me, as I am supposed to constantly confer with him!”). As a rule, this is the case when control, as an element of organising, is perceived as normal and customary (everyone is controlled) and at the same time, somewhere else, at another time, decisions are taken in trust (everyone has autonomous scope). Deciding only controllingly or only trustingly would be like wanting to only breathe in or only breathe out, therefore extremely harmful.