- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
About the Author.
Chapter 1 Why Management Failed.
Chapter 2 What's Your Management Model?
Chapter 3 Coordinating Activities: From Bureaucracy to Emergence.
Chapter 4 Making and Communicating Decisions: From Hierarchy to Collective Wisdom.
Chapter 5 Setting Objectives: From Alignment to Obliquity.
Chapter 6 Motivating Employees: From Extrinsic to Intrinsic Motivation.
Chapter 7 Four Models of Management.
Chapter 8 The Change Agent's Agenda.
Chapter 9 The Leader's Agenda.
Epilogue Broadening the Debate on Reinventing Management.
Posted February 1, 2011
As we look around us, 20th C regimes, institutions and businesses are failing. It seems everyone is writing a book on management needs to change. A few stand out, at least for me (see below for my recommendations). Julian Birkinshaw, co-founder of The Management Lab with Gary Hamel, has a new book, "Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Word Done" that is clearly one of the best. Most of the books today paint an 'either/or' picture - the "old way" is bad, the "new way" (their way) is good. Few have any middle ground; it's all or nothing, an impractical, unrealistic posture. Julian's approach is integrative - it is not 'either/or', it is 'and/both/other' - it provides a path, not a flash cut.
The book starts with a sharp, clear analysis of why things went wrong, using Lehman Brothers & GM. He shows the contrast in failure between a company that was cavalier (Lehman) and a company that was blind, not realizing the competencies that had made it successful became the liabilities killing it now.
Julian defines management as the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives - it's social!! How ripe for evolution given the social networking aspect of 21st Century business! Today's key resource is knowledge flow, again social. Bottom line for the 21st C? Management needs to get back to its core function - of enabling instead of commanding.
Several ways for management to get back to its core purpose are described - all integrating some of the old with the new, providing a transition and path to reinvent management:
. Getting People Together: Give guiding structures to stimulate individuals to self-organize - allowing increasing freedom and transparency to your people within and across business units. Bureaucracy is both coercive (conform to procedures) and enabling (tools & methods). Take the best of that - tools & methods - as guiding structures for your people to run with.
. Accomplish Desired Goals & Objectives:
o Setting objectives Obliquely: While sometimes concrete objectives are necessary (e.g., Increase sales by 10% from Segment A), Oblique, "fuzzy" objectives can be more meaningful and create the right behavior and culture (e.g., Employees First, Customers Second).sometimes the most effective objective is achieved indirectly;
o Decision Making: Blend hierarchy and collective wisdom; hierarchy is not going away, especially in large organizations, but it can be flattened and democratized and collective wisdom is not a panacea
Julian provides examples that demonstrate the benefits and challenges to reinvent management. He concludes with practical, implementable steps leaders can take to start the transition. These include understanding the real freedom you have vs what you think you have, building internal and external teams, and experimenting. The critical skills for success are, well, social: the ability to listen, communicate, understand, provide freedom and reduce obstacles.
This is one of the best books you can read on how to transform (reinvent) your organization's management for success in the 21st Century. You will refer back to it, share it and quote it. And, as you start using it, please share your experiences at The Management Innovation Exchange for others to learn from as well.