Empowerment (giving others, within operative levels, a certain degree of decision-making power) is one of the requirements to execute quality management programs. The autonomy afforded by empowering others could be detrimental to systems where complexity and variability is high, as local decisions may have undesired consequences in the system as a whole. To resolve the conflict between empowerment and strategic issues, we propose a method based on the Open Systems Theory: sections of a certain firm are seen as a system that must reach imposed objectives. The head of each section has the freedom to decide how to reach the given objective, by defining and delegating goals for the subsystems. This technique was implemented in a chemical plant as a pilot. From this analysis we derived a set of proposals to improve monitoring and management capacity. The results of the first eight months after the implementation are promising.