I hate the word. Very 80ish. Or was it 90's? Way over used, abused.
Also - based on lots of observation - one of the fundamental corner stones of a sustainable, high performing organization.
Sustainable because empowerment (god I hate the word) means diffusing power, and accountability throughout the organization. Shifting the leadership, creative, and management accountability from one person, to many. Kind of like walking the talk.
Organizations without empowerment are dictatorships. You won't have to look very far to find the ego maniac at the top of the unempowered organization. He or she will have all the answers. Some of them will be right.
Of course fewer decisions get made in an unempowered organization because the ego maniac is the bottleneck in the management process.
Getting to a fully empowered organization is easy. Business 101. A vision, mission. Clear objectives. Measurement and accountability. Great communication.....
......and a CEO who recognizes that achieving success is a team sport, not an individual one....that being a great quarterback doesn't mean catching your own passes.